Ballymurphy families 'backed by Kenny'

Ballymurphy families 'backed by Kenny'

The families of 10 people shot dead by the British Army in Ballymurphy in August 1971 said the Taoiseach Enda Kenny is backing their call for an inquiry.

It follows a meeting with the Irish leader in Dublin on Thursday afternoon.The families, who want an independent investigation into the killings in west Belfast 40 years ago, said Mr Kenny gave a commitment that he would support their demands.Paul Maskey of Sinn Féin, who was with them, said: "Today has been a good day for the Ballymurphy families and for the long campaign for justice for their loved ones.There is now an onus on him and his government to lobby the British Government togive a similar commitment.Paul Maskey, West Belfast MP"They have been campaigning for 42 years for justice and today marks a significant development in that campaign. I welcome the Taoiseach's commitment to support the families' key demand for an independent panel of investigation."Alex Attwood of the SDLP said: "I know that the Ballymurphy massacre families are deeply appreciative of the commitment of the Taoiseach and the Irish Government."It sends a message, loud and clear, that the past must now be dealt with comprehensively."A Catholic priest and a mother-of-eight were among the 10 people shot by paratroopers in 1971, while an 11th person died of a heart attack suffered during the carnage.The Army has claimed that its troops opened fire on the day in question after being shot at by republicans, as it acted to round up suspected paramilitaries after internment was introduced.However, the families of those killed have always maintained their innocence.Previous calls for an independent investigation have been refused by the Secretary of State.


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