Other victims: Now let us find our justice

As relatives of those killed at Ballymurphy celebrate the exoneration of their loved-ones,campaigners for other Troubles bloodbaths have said similar resources should now be given to their quests for justice too.

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 7:28 am
Updated Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 9:09 am

The family members of the 10 people shot dead by soldiers in west Belfast in 1971 hailed yesterday’s inquest findings, which stated that the victims were wholly blameless and that the Army had used excessive force (an 11th person also died of a heart attack).

Kenny Donaldson, a leading campaigner on behalf of those bereaved by Troubles violence, sent his sympathies to the Ballymurphy relatives.

He went on to add that a string of other unsolved killing sprees now “must also receive focus”.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Relatives of ten people shot dead in Ballymurphy in 1971. Photo: Pacemaker Belfast

“Going forward, innocent victims/survivors of terrorism must also be afforded the same resources and focus on their cases, and we trust that this fundamental issue of equality will be stood up for by all who claim to represent democracy and democratic values,” he said.

Meanwhile David Temple, brother of one of the nine fatal victims of the IRA’s triple carbombing of Claudy village, was asked if the Ballymurphy case has added impetus to his own campaign for justice.

“Yes, yes: this will drive me on,” he said.

“Victims are victims. It doesn’t matter what side of the community you come from.”

The Ballymurphy killings were carried out by the Parachute Regiment; soldiers from the same regiment went on to kill 14 people on Bloody Sunday the following year.

Yesterday’s inquest findings stated that “all of the deceased were entirely innocent of wrongdoing on the day in question” and that “the Army had a duty to protect lives... and the use of force was clearly disproportionate”.