Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Adams welcomes publication of Church report into 1971 Ballymurphy Massacre

29 July, 2010 - by Pat Sheehan

Sinn Féin west Belfast MP Gerry Adams has welcomed a decision by the Catholic Church to release archive documents surrounding the killing in August 1971 of 11 people from the Ballymurphy area.

Mr. Adams said:

“The families of those killed have borne this trauma for almost 40 years. They have courageously campaigned for the truth. I welcome the fact that the Church is now prepared to release eyewitness accounts which lend support to the families quest for a fully independent international investigation in these deaths.”

The west Belfast MP is also urging the Church to check its records and to publish other similar accounts it may hold of past incidents, including the killing in Springhill in July 1972 of five people, including a second Catholic priest and a teenage girl.

Note to Editor:

In the 36 hours after the introduction of internment in August 1971 eleven people - ten men, including a local priest and a mother of eight children - were killed by the British Army’s Parachute Regiment in the Ballymurphy area.

The accounts of how the 11 died bears a striking similarity to the stories told by the Bloody Sunday families.

Six months after Bloody Sunday, on 9 July 1972, they shot dead five people in Springhill.

Among the dead was the second Catholic priest to be killed in greater Ballymurphy. He was administering the Last Rites to victims when he himself was cut down.
Of the four others killed, three were teenagers and the last was a father of six children who was with the local priest.

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