Protest over Troubles legacy proposals during Boris Johnson’s visit

A demonstration has taken place in Hillsborough, Co Down, during a visit by Prime Minister Boris Johnson over his government’s proposals for dealing with the legacy of the Troubles.

Some of the families of the 11 people killed by soldiers in Ballymurphy in west Belfast in 1971 protested against the plans to offer an effective amnesty for Troubles-related crime.

The Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill will see immunity offered to some depending on their co-operation with a new Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery.

The new body aims to help individuals and family members to seek and receive information about Troubles-related deaths and serious injuries.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's cavalcade arrives at Hillsborough Castle

It is also designed to produce an historical record of what is known in relation to every death that occurred during the Troubles.

The proposals leave open the route of prosecution if individuals are not deemed to have earned their immunity.

Amnesty International has urged the UK government to “pull back from a dangerous course of unilateral action on legacy of the conflict”.

Grainne Teggart, campaigns manager for Amnesty International UK, said the government is on a “collision course with rights and the rule of law”.

Protesters from Relatives For Justice outside Hillsborough Castle during a visit by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Northern Ireland

Ms Teggart also expressed concern at the government’s approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol.

She said any unravelling of the international agreement between the UK and EU “could threaten guarantees within the protocol, including essential human rights protections for people in Northern Ireland”.

John Teggart, son of victim Daniel Teggart, demonstrating with some of the families of the 11 people killed by soldiers in Ballymurphy in west Belfast in 1971
A man dressed as a customs officer and another dressed as Boris Johnson with protesters from Border Communities Against Brexit outside Hillsborough Castle