Boris Johnson Ballymurphy apology an 'insult to the families' says son of victim

John Teggart, son of one of the 10 killed at Ballymurphy, has said the Prime Minister’s apology was not a public apology.

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 5:59 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 6:00 pm
John Teggart, whose father Daniel was one of 10 innocent people shot dead by British paratroopers in west Belfast in August 1971.

He said it is an “insult to the families” that Boris Johnson’s apology came in a conversation with others.

“The apology was to third parties, it wasn’t to the Ballymurphy families,” he told the BBC.

“It’s not a public apology … what kind of insult is it to families that he couldn’t have the conversation with ourselves. His office couldn’t come and speak to the families of what he was doing.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“That’s not acceptable to the families and never will be.

“This is not an apology to us.”

Earlier, a Downing Street spokesman said: “The Prime Minister spoke to the First Minister and deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill, this afternoon.

“He said the conclusions of the Ballymurphy Inquest, published yesterday, were deeply sad and that the events of August 1971 were tragic.

“The Prime Minister apologised unreservedly on behalf of the UK Government for the events that took place in Ballymurphy and the huge anguish that the lengthy pursuit of truth has caused the families of those killed.

“The Prime Minister restated the Government’s intention to deliver a way forward in Northern Ireland that focuses on reconciliation, delivers for victims of the Troubles and ends the cycle of reinvestigations.

“He stressed the importance of working hard to keep the gains made through the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement and of all parties doing their utmost to help the victims’ families find out what happened to their loved ones, so that future generations are not burdened by the past.

“The Prime Minister also congratulated the First Minister and deputy First Minister on Northern Ireland’s progress in rolling out coronavirus vaccinations. He extended an invitation for the First Minister and deputy First Minister to join a meeting to discuss Covid recovery.”


A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers — and consequently the revenue we receive — we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Ireland and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Alistair Bushe