Taoiseach supports Ballymurphy relatives

Posted By: July 16, 2015

Connla Young. Irish News( Belfast). Thursday, July 16, 2015

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has offered his support to relatives of people killed during the ‘Ballymurphy Massacre’.

The killing of nine Catholic men and one women was carried out by British Army’s Parachute Regiment over several days in August 1971 in west Belfast.

Mother-of-eight Joan Connolly and Catholic priest, Fr Hugh Mullan, were among those gunned down by the same regiment that months later killed 14 Catholic men in Derry during Bloody Sunday. Mr Kenny, who met Ballymurphy relatives last year, was speaking during a Dáil debate on an all-party motion in support of the families.

“I told the families and I reiterate here in Dáil Éireann that the Irish government supports them and is fully committed to assisting them in that search for justice,” he said.

“I told them and I reiterate that we support them in their quest to find out the truth and vindicate the good name and reputation of their loved ones.”

He said the Irish government supports demands by relatives for an independent review by the British government of the massacre.

“I told them and I reiterate – that the government supports the call for an independent review to examine all documents relating to the context, circumstances and aftermath of the deaths of their loved ones,” he said.

Relatives of people killed were in Dáil during the debate. 

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams urged the Irish government “to demand that the British government stop blocking and hiding the truth and agree to an independent 


“The Irish government needs to put in place a strategic approach which sees the British government challenged on this issue at every meeting and in every international forum,” he said.

“Unless we do this the British government will continue to refuse to give the Ballymurphy and other families what they deserve.”

Mr Adams said the suffering caused during the Troubles continues to be felt today.

“The full resources of this state must be employed to challenge the actions of a neighbouring state in the killing of Irish citizens,” he said.

“Finally, we should not forget that the pain, the suffering and the tragedies from decades of conflict are, for many, as real today as they were when they first occurred.”

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said it was up to “the governments to take the lead and fully embrace the ever more urgent need for openness and honesty about the past”.

John Teggart, whose father Danny was among those killed at Ballymurphy, thanked the taoiseach for his support.

“I would like also to thank all party leaders and independents for today’s support,” he said.

“It’s a big step forward in our campaign. It strengthens the support we already have to date. Let’s face it the only one outside the circle of support is the British government – they hold the key to the truth.

“I would hope with what happened today, with all Irish political support, we must all demand what the Ballymurphy [families] deserve all these years – the acknowledgement of the truth.”