Motion on Ballymurphy Massacre debate in Dáil today – McDonald
Today the Dáil will debate an all-party motion in support of the Ballymurphy Massacre families.
Speaking after the families briefed TDs and Senators in the Dáil this morning Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald said:
“I want to welcome the families of the 11 citizens who were killed in Ballymurphy in the two days following the introduction of internment in 1971.
“Today’s debate on an all-party motion is an important step forward in the families campaign for truth and justice.
“The motion supports the Ballymurphy families and backs their call for an Independent Panel of Inquiry to look at the context, circumstances and aftermath of the events in August 1971 in which their family members were killed.
“It is critical of the British Secretary of State’s decision not to establish independent reviews into certain Troubles-related deaths and calls on the relevant authorities “to ensure that incidents such as Ballymurphy, and other cases of similar circumstances and contention, are dealt with in a manner and a timescale that meets international human rights standards”.
“The all-party motion also supports the “implementation of the comprehensive institutional arrangements agreed under the Stormont House Agreement “for dealing with the past and urges the British Secretary of State to “reconsider her decision in April 2014 not to establish an independent panel to consider the events in Ballymurphy in August 1971”.
“This is an important motion that deserves the full support of all parties in the Dáil. It is an important further step toward persuading the British government to agree to the demands of the 11 families for truth.”
Text of All Party Motion
That Dáil Éireann:
Supports the Ballymurphy families in their quest for the truth through an Independent Panel of inquiry concerning the context, circumstances and aftermath of the events in August 1971 in which eleven people died in Ballymurphy in West Belfast;
Disagrees and is disappointed with the decisions by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in April 2014 not to establish independent reviews into certain Troubles-related deaths, including into the events in Ballymurphy in August 1971;
Notes that the Taoiseach met with the Ballymurphy families on 27 March last at which time he reiterated the Government’s support for the families' quest for the truth and justice regarding the deaths of their loved ones, including their proposal for an Independent Panel of Inquiry, and that he has written further to Prime Minister Cameron on the matter.
Calls on the relevant authorities in Northern Ireland and in Britain to ensure that incidents such as Ballymurphy, and other cases of similar circumstances and contention, are dealt with in a manner and a timescale that meets international human rights standards;
Notes, in addition, the importance of addressing legacy issues related to the troubles in a comprehensive way that encompasses all victims of violence and that respects the principles of the Stormont House Agreement, namely:
· Promotes reconciliation;
· Upholds the rule of law;
· Acknowledges and addresses the suffering of victims and survivors;
· Facilitates the pursuit of justice and information recovery;
· Is human rights compliant; and
· Is balanced, proportionate, transparent, fair and equitable;
Notes that inquests have now been reopened in Northern Ireland into a number of the deaths at Ballymurphy in August 1971 and other similar cases and calls on the British Government and all relevant authorities to cooperate fully and in a timely manner with those inquests and in line with the principles for dealing with the past established in the Stormont House Agreement;
Supports the implementation of the comprehensive institutional arrangements agreed under the Stormont House Agreement as part of the transition to long term peace and stability, for dealing with the legacy of the past – in particular, the Historical Investigations Unit (HIU); the Independent Commission on Information Retrieval (ICIR); an Oral History Archive; high quality services for victims and survivors and an Implementation and Reconciliation Group;
Supports the full co-operation of all relevant Irish authorities with the mechanisms provided under the Stormont House Agreement as part of the transition to long term peace and stability;
Calls on the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to reconsider her decision in April 2014 not to establish an independent panel to consider the events in Ballymurphy in August 1971;
Directs the Clerk of the Dáil to communicate the text of this Resolution to both the Northern Ireland Assembly and the House of Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, with a request that the matter be considered by them and appropriate action taken.