From Troops Out Movement:
Ballymurphy Massacre Families to Meet TDs and Senators
TOM News 29/04/08
Families affected by the actions of the British army’s Parachute Regiment in Belfast in August 1971 will be meeting with representatives of all of the twenty-six county political parties in Dáil Éireann tomorrow. In the Ballymurphy area of West Belfast the Parachute Regiment killed eleven people over a three day period, 9-11 August 1971.
Official accounts labelled all the victims gunmen and gunwomen, including a mother of eight and the parish priest. None of those killed had any connection to any armed group. They were innocent civilians. The barbarity of the killings was lost in the wider reporting of internment and became a forgotten massacre.
The British soldiers responsible for the killings went on to Derry the following January and were directly responsible for Bloody Sunday with fourteen more civilians being murdered. Now as adults, the children and the surviving siblings of those killed have been working to have the names of their loved ones cleared.
Following the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, and with separate investigative findings, the relatives are confident that they can link members of the Parachute Regiment responsible for Bloody Sunday to the killings of their loved ones in Ballymurphy in 1971.
As a direct consequence of the killings in Ballymurphy forty-six children were left without a parent. Many of those children were evacuated to the twenty-six counties – mostly to Irish army camps as refugees. Some of the children watched the funerals of their parents on news footage broadcast by RTÉ. Others were too young to comprehend the enormity of what occurred. Their lives were irrevocably changed.
Theirs is a story of great importance and significance in terms of healing, recovery, truth and justice; a story which must be heard and addressed as part of the outworkings and benefits of the wider peace process. Essentially, the legacy issues of this terrible atrocity must be addressed in the context of personal and societal healing and reconciliation as part of transitional justice.
The families are seeking political support for a number of key aims, which include an independent investigative process that will secure a statement of innocence regarding all of those killed and an apology from both the British Parachute Regiment and the British government. Importantly, this is a process that has an emphasis on truth seeking, acknowledgement and recognition.
From Troops Out Movement: