Taoiseach to visit ‘Murph

By Staff Reporter

By Anthony Neeson a.neeson@belfastmediagroup.com

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is to travel to West Belfast to meet the families of the 11 innocents who were killed by the Parachute Regiment over three days in August 1971 in what became known as the Ballymurphy Massacre.

Enda Kenny made the commitment during his response to a question in the Dáil on Tuesday from Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams.

Mr Adams welcomed the decision by An Taoiseach to visit the Ballymurphy area and he also welcomed the Taoiseach’s commitment to introduce into the Dáil an all-party Oireachtas motion of support for the Ballymurphy families.

Last month British Secretary of State Theresa Villiers sparked outrage when she wrote to the Ballymurphy families ruling out an independent review into the slaughter.

 

Victims

Speaking in the Dáil, Gerry Adams raised the decision by the British Secretary of State to refuse a request by the families for a Hillsborough-style review of the events that led to the killing of 11 West Belfast residents by the British Parachute Regiment. The Sinn Féin leader also criticised Theresa Villiers’ attempt to create “a hierarchy of victims”.

Mr Adams said: “Three weeks ago the British Secretary of State Theresa Villiers criticised what she described as the one-sided focus on state killings.”

“A week later she announced her decision not to allow for the review of events which the families have requested. She also refused a similar request from the families of the La Mon attack.

“This weekend will mark the 40th anniversary of the Dublin Monaghan bombs which killed 34 citizens. A Dáil report into these bomb attacks described them as ‘acts of international terrorism that were colluded in by the British security forces’. The British Government has consistently refused to hand over information requested of it by successive Irish Governments. Theresa Villiers remarks, and her decisions, are a clear attempt by the British Government to create a hierarchy of victims in which those killed directly by the British state and indirectly by it through state collusion with unionist death squads, are treated as second class. This is unacceptable.”

In his remarks, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny reiterated his support for the Ballymurphy Massacre campaign and said that he will visit Ballymurphy on his next visit to Belfast, as yet unscheduled.

 

Justice

Commenting on the Taoiseach’s promised visit, John Teggart, whose father Danny was murdered by members of the Parachute Regiment in August 1971, thanked Enda Kenny for his continued support.

“Enda Kenny has been true to his word that he would raise our case with David Cameron, which he did in March. We look forward to meeting the Taoiseach in Ballymurphy and working with the Irish Government to forward our campaign for truth, justice and the implementation of an independent panel into these 11 innocent civilians’ deaths.

“We would like to also thank Gerry Adams and Sinn Féin for continuing to raise the Ballymurhy massacre campaign in the Dáil.”

 

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