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Adams backs Ballymurphy families – ‘hands off’ inquests

18 December, 2014 - by Gerry Adams TD


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has expressed his support and solidarity for the Ballymurphy families who protested today at the joint proposal in last week’s negotiations from the British and Irish governments, which would deny bereaved families access to an Inquest.

The Sinn Féin leader criticised the Taoiseach Enda Kenny who in the past has supported the families’ demand for an Independent Panel into the Ballymurphy Massacre; promised to back the families ‘120%’; and volunteered to bring into the Dáil an all-party motion in support of the families.

The Louth TD said: 

“Mr Kenny has broken all of these commitments.

“Today the families were back in court seeking a date for the commencement of the inquest hearing which the PSNI and British Ministry of Defence have thus far stalled by refusing to hand over important documentation from 1971.

“The Taoiseach has failed to honour commitments he gave to the Ballymurphy families in respect of support for an Independent Panel to investigate the deaths of the 11 victims in 1971 or to introduce an all-party motion in support of them.

“Last week he also signed on for a British government proposal which would deny bereaved families their right to Article 2 compliance inquests and allow the British government to hide behind the use of ‘national security’ concerns.

“Under last year’s Haass proposals outstanding inquests were protected. Under the proposal from the two governments the Ballymurphy Massacre and other similar disputed cases would be moved to the ‘Civil Inquisitorial’ section of the Historical Investigations Unit if their inquests have still not been completed. 

“Given the delays in disclosure by the PSNI and British Ministry of Defence it is unlikely that many of these inquests will have concluded.

“The powers and remit of the ‘Civil Inquisitorial’ process are unclear and will be dependent on ‘national security’ concerns.”

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