Ballymurphy and Jordan Victims families meet British Secretary of State
Sinn Féin West Belfast MP Gerry Adams MLA this afternoon met the British Secretary of State Shaun Woodward.
In the course of two separate meetings Mr. Woodward will meet the family of Pearse Jordan who was shot dead by the RUC in November 1992 and the families of 11 people from the Ballymurphy area who were killed by the British Parachute regiment in August 1971.
Representatives of Relatives for Justice were also present.
The meetings were requested by Mr. Adams to provide the families with an opportunity to press the British government to remove obstacles placed in the way of truth by its agencies and to establish independent international investigations into the full circumstances of these deaths.
The Ballymurphy families are also seeking an acknowledgement from the British government of the innocence of all those killed and of the injustice suffered by the families.
Speaking after the meeting Mr. Adams said the families put compelling arguments in support of their demands.
"Pearse Jordan's family want the current obstacles being placed in the way of a proper and transparent inquest to be removed.
Over the last 17 years the family have attended over 130 hearings regarding the inquest, as well as taken their case to the European Court.
They asked the British Secretary of State to ensure that the Coroner and their lawyers receive all of the necessary material which will allow for the inquest to proceed."
Speaking about the Ballymurphy Massacre Mr. Adams said:
"In the three days following the introduction of internment in August 1971 11 people were killed by the British Army's Parachute Regiment in the Ballymurphy area. The British Army's action was part of a deliberate plan to intimidate the Ballymurphy and nationalist community.
What all of these families and many others want is the truth.
They want the cover-ups and obstructions by the British government and its agencies to end.
I want to commend the families for their extraordinary courage and determination.
I told the British Secretary of State that there is a responsibility on his government to remove all obstacles to truth for these families and hundreds of others and to establish independent international investigations into the full circumstances of these deaths.