Latest up-to-date news from ‘The Ballymurphy Massacre Victims’ families.

Justice Keegan appoints additional council, Mr Michael McCartan, to “specifically” and “exclusively” deal with military witness issues including tracing.

Ballymurphy Massacre families in court today Wednesday 11th July for another preliminary hearing (PH) in advance of the inquests starting in September. Groundhog day was the feeling as the legal teams reviewed outstanding issues including tracing of soldiers and the ruling on the UVF application for Properly Interested Party (PIP) status, which if granted will give them access to all the documentation, witness statements and they will be able to cross examine witness including family member.

Unfortunately, the Judge will make a ruling on this application at the next PH on the 27th July, but hopefully when the judge has considered all the submissions from the other legal teams she will rule against it. At the last PH Karen Quinliven argued against granting PIP status on the grounds that witness x was not in fact a witness but and third party who was relaying “gossip” and “hearsay” to the court as if it were evidence.

The issue of tracing soldiers remains high on the agenda for families, at every opportunity the MOD have been dragging their heals in relation to identifying those responsible for the shootings in Ballymurphy, losing cipher lists, not knowing the postal address for Veteran’s associations and breaching deadlines set by the coroner to produce information and on almost every occasion handing in information the day before or the morning of the hearing making it impossible for the legal representatives for the next of kin to respond to until the next hearing again delaying the process.

The Coroner Justice Keegan today acknowledged again that the MOD keep breaching deadlines and set the 20th July as the final date for producing information in relation to tracing of soldiers, she also acknowledged that the tracing of military witnesses was of utmost importance and appointed addition council, Mr Michael McCartan, to “specifically” and “exclusively” to deal with military witness issues.

This is good news for families who have been arguing all along for additional resources to be put in place to trace soldiers, wither that be a tracing agency or the appointment of additional council who’s role is to focus on tracing soldiers exclusively.

Remembrance without glorification – should you wear a poppy to honour the war dead?

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http://stopwar.org.uk/index.php/news/remembrance-without-glorification-should-you-wear-a-poppy-to-honour-the-war-dead

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The bigger Bloody Sunday cover-up – Irish Republican News – Fri, Oct 16, 2015

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http://republican-news.org/current/news/2015/10/the_bigger_bloody_sunday_cover.html#.ViSmGlPLcTs

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Find weapons used in Ballymurphy killings: coroner

‘The victims who included a mother-of-eight and a Catholic priest, were killed over a 36-hour period

THE Ministry of Defence has been asked to clarify whether any of the weapons used by British soldiers in the murders of 10 people in the Ballymurphy area of West Belfast in 1971 are still in existence.

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Coroner Jim Kitson said “all efforts should be made” to trace the weapons, instructing  that if found, they “should not be destroyed”. Mr Kitson was speaking at Belfast Laganside courts yesterday during a preliminary hearing ahead of new inquests into the 10 deaths. The victims, who included a mother-of-eight and a Catholic priest, were murdered over a 36-hour period, following the introduction of Internment, between August 9 and August 11, 1971. The families of t:-) hose murdered have spent years campaigning for an international, independent inquiry into the killings, and in 2011, Attorney General John Larkin QC ordered new inquests into the killings. During the preliminary hearing yesterday, legal counsel for the parties involved discussed a number of issues in relation to the inquests. Among the issues was a potential reveiw of all the pathology evidence related to the case. Barrister Fiona Doherty, who is representing the majority of the families, said it was “incredibly important” that the evidence was reviewed, adding that this “shouldn’t be delayed”. Mr Kitson directed that it was “worthwhile for a pathologist to reveiw all of the pathology evidence” adding that a “fresh eye being cast over the matter can certainly do no harm”.

Mr Kitson alos asked Peter Coll, a legal representative for the MoD, to clarify whether weapons used in the 10 killings still existed. Mr Kitson said all efforts “should be made to trace the weapons” which “should not be destoyed” if found. Mr Coll said efforts were “under way in response to the issue”. 66237_443639880487_2980752_nThe legal parties also discussed the possibility of fresh statements being taken from witnessess in relation to the killings. The legal parties were then each given two weeks to provide a list of witnesses. In addition, in relation to former soldiers giving statements, Mr Coll said it remained “a matter for the individuals as to whether they engage in that process”. The families of those murdered also want the Mod to reveal if any of the paratroopers involved in the killings were aloso involved in the Bloody Sunday murders in Derry five months later. Ms Doherty told the coroner that the issue of “cross-referencing” had been raised “in relation to the events of Bloody Sunday, which occurred some months later and involved the same regiment.” The court also heard that the family of one of the victims, Joseph Murphy would be making an application for his remains to be exhumed amid claims he was shot a second time while in British army custody. A further hearing will take place on June 27.

With many thanks to: Marie Louise McCrory, The Irish News, for the original story.

Ballymurphy Massacre March for Truth

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Seosamh O Bradaigh > Ballymurphy Massacre support group for truth

The Ballymurphy Massacre Families will be participating in the Exhibition on the history of Internment, Family members will be present to tell their story, the story behind the photography exhibition will also be on display.

Ballymurphy Massacre March for Truth

Location: Starts Springfield Park

Date: Sunday 11th August 2013

Time: assemble 1.30 pm

You are invited to join the Ballymurphy Families on our 2013 March of Thruth as we revisit the locations where our loved ones were murdered .We invite all NGO‘s to take part and promote to all their members .We ask those effected by state violence please bring along photo’s of your loved ones and campaign banners .

Photos from Seosamh O Bradaigh’s post in Ballymurphy Massacre support group for truth ·

Updated news from the Ballymurphy Massacre Committee

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Campaign For A United Ireland‘s status update.

Campaign For A United Ireland

The Ballymurphy Massacre Committee is in receipt of a letter from the Historical Enquiries Team (HET) announcing that it has suspended its “reviews” of cases involving the British Army due to the damning report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC). This acknowledgement by the State publicly and officially validates what the Ballymurphy families have been saying to each British Secretary of State as far back as Shaun Woodward–that the HET is not independent. Due to the great work by Dr. Patricia Lundy they are now having to listen and concede.

It is inexcusable in an environment that is claimed to be a democracy, that from August 1971 til the present day, there has never been an investigation into the murder of 11 innocent civilians from our neighborhood. Successive governments have ignored this atrocity and attempted to divert the cause of justice by offering only a desktop review of the 11 cases through the HET. With the HMIC condemning the HET policies and practices which their report refers to as “illegal,” the State has no excuse not to conduct a proper investigation.

As the HET letter to the Ballymurphy families indicates, there is now no mechanism through which the British State is dealing with Army murders in Ballymurphy. In the 40 year absence of any proper investigation, the Ballymurphy families have designed a formula to address this.

The Independent Panel proposal presented to both governments by the Ballymurphy Massacre Committee is based on the Hillsborough Independent Panel which was fully supported by the British government.

We now call for both the Irish and the British governments to respond immediately to the Ballymurphy Independent Panel proposal.

Ballymurphy Massacre Committee

(John Teggart 07512166867)

BALLYMURPHY MASSACRE SUPPORT GROUP FOR THE TRUTH !!!

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Ciaran Cahill

The Ballymurphy Massacre Families are very upset by the news that the coroner has suspended the inquest into the deaths of their loved ones. This decision was made without the knowledge or consultation with the families. At a preliminary hearing this morning the senior corner informed legal representation for the families of Francis Rowntree, who was also murdered by the British Army, that he had legal advice that the decision of the Attorney General, John Larkin QC, to direct fresh inquests into legacy inquests may be unlawful.

The senior coroner also informed legal representation that he was taking no further action into the inquests directed in these cases until he has sought the views of the British Secretary of State and the Advocate General. The Ballymurphy Massacre Families had welcomed the decision last year by the Attorney General to reopen 10 inquests relating to the deaths of our loved ones 41 years ago. We commended the Attorney General for showing leadership and credibility in announcing that the inquests would be reopened.

We feel that when he considered the facts surrounding the sham inquests which took place 41 years ago his decision was the correct one. We regard the original sham inquests as a serious neglect of duty by everyone involved and leave a lot of questions to be answered. The families believe that these inquests must be held without delay, with significant resources and funding provided to the coroner and the families legal representatives to ensure that all of the facts are known. The Ballymurphy Massacre Families are considering a Judicial Review against the senior coroner John Leckey in the light of his decision to suspend the inquests and will not rest until the decision has been overturned.

The Ballymurphy Massacre Families are very upset by the news that the coroner has suspended the inquest into the deaths of their loved ones. This decision was made without the knowledge or consultation with the families. At a preliminary hearing this morning the senior corner informed legal representation for the families of Francis Rowntree, who was also murdered by the British Army, that he had legal advice that the decision of the Attorney General, John Larkin QC, to direct fresh inquests into legacy inquests may be unlawful. The senior coroner also informed legal representation that he was taking no further action into the inquests directed in these cases until he has sought the views of the British Secretary of State and the Advocate General. The Ballymurphy Massacre Families had welcomed the decision last year by the Attorney General to reopen 10 inquests relating to the deaths of our loved ones 41 years ago. We commended the Attorney General for showing leadership and credibility in announcing that the inquests would be reopened. We feel that when he considered the facts surrounding the sham inquests which took place 41 years ago his decision was the correct one. We regard the original sham inquests as a serious neglect of duty by everyone involved and leave a lot of questions to be answered. The families believe that these inquests must be held without delay, with significant resources and funding provided to the coroner and the families legal representatives to ensure that all of the facts are known. The Ballymurphy Massacre Families are considering a Judicial Review against the senior coroner John Leckey in the light of his decision to suspend the inquests and will not rest until the decision has been overturned. · 15 November 2012 ·