Dail Support for Independent Inquiry into Ballymurphy Massacre

NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE

On the occasion of the recent visit by the British Royal Family member Prince Charles we highlighted the sycophantic coverage of the event by the Irish media.

We contrasted the ‘royal visit propaganda’ with the dearth of media attention to the protest in Belfast by relatives and supporters of those murdered at Ballymurphy by the British Army Parachute Regiment between the 9th and 11th of August 1971. Prince Charles is Colonel in Chief of the Regiment (see link):

https://www.celticleague.net/news/ireland-charles-visit-paras-controversies-no-they-were-murders-tommy/

Today in the Dáil the victims of this tragedy finally got some recognition by the Irish government with a motion moved by the Taoiseach which says:

“That Dáil Éireann:

supports the Ballymurphy families in their quest for the truth through an Independent Panel of Inquiry concerning the context, circumstances and aftermath of the events in August 1971 in which eleven people died in Ballymurphy in West Belfast;

disagrees and is disappointed with the decisions by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in April 2014 not to establish independent reviews into certain Troubles-related deaths, including into the events in Ballymurphy in August 1971;

notes that the Taoiseach met the Ballymurphy families on 27th March last at which time he reiterated the Government’s support for the families’ quest for the truth and justice regarding the deaths of their loved ones, including their proposal for an Independent Panel of Inquiry, and that he has written further to Prime Minister Cameron on the matter;

calls on the relevant authorities in Northern Ireland and in Britain to ensure that incidents such as Ballymurphy, and other cases of similar circumstances and contention, are dealt with in a manner and a timescale that meets international human rights standards;

notes:

in addition, the importance of addressing legacy issues related to the Troubles in a comprehensive way that encompasses all victims of violence and that respects the principles of the Stormont House Agreement, namely:

promotes reconciliation;

upholds the rule of law;

acknowledges and addresses the suffering of victims and survivors;

facilitates the pursuit of justice and information recovery

is human rights compliant; and

is balanced, proportionate, transparent, fair and equitable; and

that inquests have now been reopened in Northern Ireland into a number of the deaths at Ballymurphy in August 1971 and other similar cases and calls on the British Government and all relevant authorities to co-operate fully and in a timely manner with those inquests and in line with the principles for dealing with the past established in the Stormont House Agreement;

supports the:

implementation of the comprehensive institutional arrangements agreed under the Stormont House Agreement as part of the transition to long-term peace and stability, for dealing with the legacy of the past – in particular, the Historical Investigations Unit (HIU); the Independent Commission on Information Retrieval (ICIR); an Oral History Archive; high quality services for victims and survivors and an Implementation and Reconciliation Group; and

full co-operation of all relevant Irish authorities with the mechanisms provided under the Stormont House Agreement as part of the transition to long-term peace and stability;

calls on the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to reconsider her decision in April 2014 not to establish an independent panel to consider the events in Ballymurphy in August 1971; and

directs the Clerk of the Dáil to communicate the text of this Resolution to both the Northern Ireland Assembly and the House of Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, with a request that the matter be considered by them and appropriate action taken.”

The debate is ongoing as this press release is being drafted but the motion is expected to be adopted.

You can find the debate on the Oireachtas website – just go to ‘Oireachtas business’ and it is easy to navigate from there.

https://www.oireachtas.ie/parliament/oireachtasbusiness/

The Celtic League called for such an inquiry four years ago (on the fortieth anniversary of the murders) so we welcome this latest move by the Irish government (see link):

https://www.celticleague.net/news/ballymurphy-massacre-40th-anniversary/

J B Moffatt (Mr)

Director of Information
Celtic League

15/07/15

THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE

The Celtic League was established in 1961and has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

dachaigh


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