Massacre families call on Prince Charles to apologise for Parachute Regiment killings

John Teggart, whose father Danny was shot dead by the Parachute Regiment in Ballymurphy in August 1971 John Teggart, whose father Danny was shot dead by the Parachute Regiment in Ballymurphy in August 1971
By Gemma Burns

The families of those killed in the Ballymurphy Massacre are to hold a protest in Belfast city centre today voicing their opposition to Prince Charles’s visit.

The British royal today begins a four-day visit to Ireland where he will meet a number of political figures, including Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams.

Relatives of the 11 Ballymurphy civilians shot dead by members of the Parachute Regiment in August 1971 have called on Prince Charles to apologise for the killings in his role as Colonel-in-Chief of the regiment.

John Teggart, whose father Danny was one of those killed in the massacre, criticised the visit.

“The Ballymurphy Massacre families totally oppose Prince Charles, the Colonel-in-Chief of the Parachute Regiment, walking the streets of Belfast where the blood of innocent civilians has been shed by the regiment that he commands,” he said.

“These atrocities included the Ballymurphy Massacre, Bloody Sunday and the Springhill Massacre. Over a twelve-month period they executed men, women, children and two Catholic priests, leaving scores of children without a parent. Let’s not forget the two innocent civilians on the Shankill road in September 1972, also murdered by the Parachute Regiment.

“Prince Charles is the Colonel-in-Chief of the Parachute Regiment who carried out the these atrocities and he must take full responsibility for the actions of his troops.

“Will Prince Charles apologise during his visit for the hurt and loss inflicted on the Ballymurphy community in August 1971?”

Former West Belfast MP Gerry Adams, now a TD for Louth, said republicans have a responsibility to promote reconciliation.

“Prince Charles is the Colonel-in-Chief of the Parachute Regiment -–a regiment of the British army that has been responsible for the killing of many Irish citizens including in Derry, Ballymurphy, Springhill and other communities across the north,” he said.

“But he also has been bereaved by the actions of republicans. Thankfully the conflict is over, but there remain unresolved injustices. These must be rectified and a healing process developed.

“There is a responsibility on us all to promote reconciliation and seek to promote healing.”

 

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