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Sinn Fein MEP Meets Victims’ Families

6 June, 2013 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Fein's Martina Anderson has praised the courage and determination of the Families of The New Lodge Six as she met them this week in North Belfast.

Speaking to the North Belfast News the Sinn Fein Member of the European Parliament said,

"The courage and determination shown by the families of the six unarmed young men killed by British Soldiers in the New Lodge forty years ago is truly humbling.

“Since the events of the third and fourth of February 1973 the families have demanded the truth from the British Government.

“However, it was only the perseverance of the families and the community that established the shocking facts of that night in a community enquiry held ten years ago.

“I had made contact with representatives of the families earlier this year when visiting North Belfast and promised to return and spend time with them offering my assistance and support to the campaign for truth.

“Unfortunately these circumstances of multiple killings by British regiments  at that time in the New Lodge, Derry and Ballymurphy are all too well known by the families and communities affected.

“Yet the pattern of silence by the British State at the highest levels is consistent and still continues."

Adding that there should never be any hierarchy of victims MEP Anderson said:

"This meeting is of course particularly poignant in the context of this week’s Assembly vote to discriminate against ex- prisoners and the subsequent comments about a hierarchy of victims by the SDLP leader.

“The suffering of all victims of the conflict must be addressed and saying that there is a hierarchy of victims is particularly insulting to victims of State violence.

“Huge damage has been done by these crass comments by Alasdair McDonnell  and caused real trauma to victims’ families and campaigners for truth.

“The State has an international legal obligation to protect the life of citizens and in the case of the New Lodge Six clearly that right was breached and then compounded by decades of cover up.

“I'll be doing all within my power to highlight the campaign for truth for the families of the New Lodge Six in the European Parliament in the time ahead." concluded the MEP.

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