Coroner finds the 10 victims of the Ballymurphy massacre were innocent…

After nearly 50 years the families of those killed in Ballymurphy have state vindication of what they knew all along – their family members were completely innocent. From the BBC report: The inquest, which began in November 2018, examined the deaths in and around the Ballymurphy area of west Belfast in August 1971. The shootings happened after an operation in which paramilitary suspects were detained without trial. Victims included a priest trying to help the wounded and a mother of …

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Shame on the London papers for ignoring the Ballymurphy inquest, while they support the campaign for a limited army amnesty

  Roy Greenslade is both a supporter of Sinn Fein and writing in the Guardian, a fair minded and expert critic of his old profession. I mention this to anticipate an irrelevant smear.   On the reporting of the Ballymurphy inquest, he’s absolutely right. A story that matches in horror the Birmingham pub bombs or the abuses in cause celebres such as Hillsborough or  the murder of Stephen Lawrence  is largely ignored because the initials  “IRA” are involved. The old reflex …

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If the MoD stalls over the Ballymurphy inquest, you can forget drawing a line under the Troubles

The Channel 4 film “Massacre at Ballymurphy” will quickly be seized on as ammunition in the battle of narratives for dealing with the past.    Those who complain that not only the narrative but justice has become one sided may believe that the documentary has handed a propaganda victory to Sinn Fein: and so whatever the gross hypocrisy involved,  it probably has.  But this is beside the point.  To think of it only in Clausewitzian terms is to view it through the …

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New revelations about the Ballymurphy massacre require urgent action by the British government

The report Mick highlights of a UVF sniper firing into Ballymurphy  at the time of the massacre in 1971 for  which up to now  1 Para was believed  to be mainly responsible,  underlines the paramount importance of finding out basic facts in dealing with the past. As I argued the other day, it is not only unacceptable but self-defeating for armchair soldiers in today’s battle of the narratives to thwart the rule of law, whether they are unionists defending the …

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71: A story of remembering and interpreting the past

Film buff, Dan McGinn has an interesting review over on his great blog ‘They’ll love it in Pomona” A new picture by Yann Demange called 71 tells the story of one of the brutal years of the Troubles. It was the year in which Internment was introduced, Ballymurphy massacre took place, the Tripartite summit between Ted Heath, Brian Faulkner & Jack Lynch attempted to find a solution to what the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs called “a tragic and most tractable problem.” …

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Adams may dodge legal bullet on similar public interest grounds as the Paras…

Excellent summary of the legal position from Joshua Rosenberg in the Guardian today, which points out that even if the PSNI have sufficient evidence to charge Gerry Adams, a public interest defence (not dissimilar to the one the Secretary of State has used to block the Ballymurphy and La Mon families), could see him walk away free from a criminal trial… Once prosecutors have concluded that there is enough evidence, they must decide whether a prosecution is in the public …

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Why did no one in Sinn Fein tell the Ballymurphy families the Para’s could borrow Adams’ ‘public interest’ defence?

Gerry Moriarty reports in yesterday’s Irish Times highlights the tragic case of the Ballymurphy families of eleven victims on and over several days after the introduction of internment. One victim’s family has gone to the extreme, and no doubt deeply upsetting, resort of having the body of their loved one exhumed to find evidence that he’d been shot long after having been wounded. John Teggart told UTV on Monday: “I think anybody out there whose parents were murdered in cold …

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The Haass agenda on the past. The release of documents must include MI5’s and others in the secret state

The remarks by Teresa Villiers on dealing with the past will surprise no one. They serve as a reminder of who is ultimately in charge, despite bashfully standing on the sidelines.  The era of public inquiries is over. For good or ill there will be no public inquiry into Finucane, the “Ballymurphy massacre” or any other terrible incident with major question marks hanging over it.  Since Savile, the limitations of inquiries have been demonstrated at a cost of another hundred million pounds. …

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Attorney General re-opens #Ballymurphy inquests

Eleven people were shot dead by British soldiers in Ballymurphy in the three days following the introduction of internment without trial on 9th August 1971. Today, more than forty years later, John Larkin, the Northern Ireland Attorney General, has ordered fresh inquests into the deaths. The original inquests returned an open verdict in 1972 but there was no serious investigation into the behaviour of the paratroopers who carried out the killings. In 1998, some of the families of those that were killed began …

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