Ballymurphy Massacre: Coroner Says 10 People Killed by British Army in 1971 Were ‘Innocent’

UK

More than 3,600 people suffered violent deaths during The Troubles – 30 years of sectarian strife in Northern Ireland, which was ended by the Good Friday Agreement. One of the most controversial incidents was the so-called Ballymurphy Massacre in Belfast in 1971.

A coroner has said 10 people killed by the British Army in Northern Ireland 50 years ago were “innocent.”

A Catholic priest and a mother-of-eight were among those killed by the security forces in the heavily Irish republican Ballymurphy district of west Belfast over three days in August 1971.

​The inquest, which began in November 2018, heard evidence from 150 people, including 60 retired soldiers, but several key witnesses did not appear, including IRA men who were reportedly active in the area at the time.

Mary Lou McDonald, president of Sinn Fein, said the inquest ruling was a “vindication” of campaign by the families of the victims.

Her comments were a response to the Queen’s Speech, in which Boris Johnson’s government set out plans to restrict the prosecution of British soldiers for actions in Northern Ireland during The Troubles.

The inquest had been hampered by missing documents, including statements from soldiers made in 1972 in which they admitted shooting people.

The original list has been lost and only the original coroner – who has since died – knew the names of the soldiers.

​So nobody at the inquest was able to cross-examine any of…

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