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Adams Welcomes Congressional Hearing for Ballymurphy Families

11 March, 2011 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD, who has worked closely with the Ballymurphy Massacre families over many years of their campaign, has welcomed the decision to hold a Congressional Hearing next Wednesday in Washington into the events of August 1971 in Ballymurphy.

Mr. Adams said:
“Next Wednesday a Congressional Hearing will take place in Washington DC into the events in Ballymurphy in August 1971 which saw 11 people, ten men, including a local priest and a mother of eight children, shot dead by the British Parachute Regiment.
“Sinn Féin’s representative in the USA Rita O’Hare, who has played a key role in facilitating the families and lobbying for this hearing, will be present.
“The decision to hold the hearing followed a visit by the families last December during which they met senior US Politicians, including the Friends of Ireland Congressional Committee, other senior politicians, the State Department, and a range of Irish American organisations and the media.
“The Congressional Hearing will bring a focus onto the huge injustice done to these families by the British Army and which successive British governments have refused to acknowledge, and will win support for the families demand for an international independent investigation into the events surrounding the deaths of their loved ones. ”
Note to Editors:Last year Gerry Adams raised this issue with Congressman Richard Neal who is the Chair of the Friends of Ireland Committee and asked him if he could facilitate a hearing with the Ballymurphy families.
Congressman Neal has been a long time supporter of the Irish peace process and he readily agreed.
In the intervening time the families, working with Gerry Adams office, and with Rita O Hare arranged for the families to travel to the USA in December.
Following this very successful visit it was agreed that a Congressional Hearing would take place and this is now set for March 16th.
I am confident that all those the Ballymurphy families meet will quickly accept the merits of their demands and support them. The evidence is overwhelming. It is clear that in the two days after the introduction of internment in August 1971, 11 people, including a mother of 8 children and a local Catholic priest, were murdered by the British Parachute Regiment.
None of those killed had any connection to any armed group. They were all innocent civilians.

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