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Adams welcomes Taoiseach’s confirmation of Ballymurphy motion for Dáil

24 February, 2015 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has welcomed the Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s commitment today in the Dáil to complete work on an all-party motion in respect of the Ballymurphy Massacre case before the end of March and to discuss this with the Ballymurphy families.

Gerry Adams raised the Ballymurphy, Pat Finucane, and Hooded Men case during Taoiseach’s questions in the Dáil today. Specifically, he asked Enda Kenny about a commitment he made last July to bring forward an all-party motion in support of the Ballymurphy families.

In his remarks the Sinn Fein leader also extended condolences to Terry Laverty and his family on the death of his wife Lily at the weekend.

Gerry Adams said:

“The brother of one of those killed in the Ballymurphy Massacre, Terry Laverty, had his conviction for riotous behaviour on that occasion quashed two weeks ago.”

“Terry Laverty was detained, stripped, beaten, and made to run barefoot over broken glass and through a gauntlet of British Army soldiers who beat him.”

“One soldier told Terry he’d ‘already killed one Irish bastard and that another wouldn’t matter.’ This same soldier put his gun to Terry’s head and pulled the trigger, unknown to Terry the safety was on.”

“Terry was then taken to Girdwood Barracks and held for 56 hours were he was further tortured. He was charged with riotous behaviour and brought directly to court in a forced state of undress and with glass still in his bloodied feet, unaware that his brother John had been murdered only yards from where he was assaulted.”

“The quashing of Terry’s conviction is an important development and adds weight to the demand that the Ballymurphy Massacre case needed to be properly investigated. I would like to extend my condolences and sympathy to Terry and his family whose wife Lilly died at the weekend.”

Speaking on the Ballymurphy Massacre case Gerry Adams said:

“Last May I raised with the Taoiseach the refusal by the British Secretary of State to a request by the families for a review of the events that led to the deaths of their eleven loved ones. He volunteered to introduce an all-party Oireachtas motion of support for the Ballymurphy families.”

“Subsequently the Taoiseach said that he was now working on a comprehensive motion. There is a concern that a ‘comprehensive’ motion, which seeks to deal with other issues, will fail to address the specific matters relating to the Ballymurphy case.”

“The Taoiseach confirmed today that he will bring the all-party motion forward and Sinn Féin will judge it on its merits when the government produce it. But I urged the Taoiseach to discuss the motion with the families first before producing it in the Dáil.”

“To be of value the families are looking for a motion which condemns the inadequate investigative process following the killings by the RUC and the British authorities in the north and welcomes the decision in November 2011 by the Attorney General to direct the Coroner to re-open the inquests.”

“Specifically they are seeking the support of the Dáil for their proposal for a Hillsborough style independent panel, including the appointment of an Independent Panel to examine all documents relating to the context, circumstances and aftermath of the deaths of all those who died in the Ballymurphy Massacre.” 

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