The Irish Republican Prisoners Support Group picket the Irish Embassy, Justice for the Ballymurphy 11, Saturday, 13th October 2018.

The Irish Republican Prisoners Support Group picket the Irish Embassy, Justice for the Ballymurphy 11, Saturday, 13 October 2018 from 17:00-18:00 Irish Embassy, 17 Grosvenor Pl, Belgravia, London, SW1X 7HR.

We believe the material revealed in the Chanel 4 documentary adds to the accumulated evidence against General Sir Frank Kitson, and General Sir Michael Jackson as war criminals and we demand the Irish government brings these charges against them in the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

The Honourable Adrian O’Neill
Irish Ambassador, Embassy of Ireland
17 Grosvenor Place
London. SW1X-7HR
13.10.2018
Dear Ambassador O’Neill,
We trust you have seen the Channel 4 documentary Massacre at Ballymurphy. This brutally exposed the hidden history of British military repression against civilians in the north of Ireland. It brings into focus the role of General Sir Frank Edward Kitson, and General Sir Michael David Jackson. We believe the material revealed in this documentary adds to the accumulated evidence against these two and this warrants the Irish government bringing charges of war crimes against them in the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
Frank Kitson
London School of Economics Professor James Hughes in History Ireland, Jan/Feb 2004, tells us that Kitson received the Military Cross (MC) on 1 January 1955 for service in the Mau Mau Uprising in Kenya, and was awarded a Bar to it on 23 May 1958, for service in the Malayan Emergency the previous year.
In 2012 the British High Court found that British troops perpetrated the Batang Kali massacre in Malaya in 1948, killing 24 defenceless civilians. In May 2012 High Court decided not to hold a public hearing into the killing but also ruled that Britain was responsible for the killing of the 24 civilians. The court proclaimed, “There is evidence that supports a deliberate execution at Batang Kali.” When the case went to the United Kingdom Supreme Court in November 2015 it ruled that the government did not have to hold a public inquiry even though it may have been a war crime, because the atrocity occurred too long ago. His citation for his actions in Malaya was, “For exceptional skill and leadership as a Company Commander during jungle operations. By his devotion to duty he attained the virtual elimination of two communist party branches in a difficult area.”
Frank Kitson was central to these operations and the state acknowledged this with a Bar to his Military Cross.
In 2013 William Hague, then Britain’s foreign secretary, apologised and accepted that its security forces had tortured, mutilated and raped Mau Mau fighters. He agreed to compensate up to 8,000 victims and to build a memorial to them in Nairobi. The monument is part of a 2013 out-of-court settlement by the UK government when it agreed to pay £20m in compensation to Mau Mau veterans. Tens of thousands of Kenyans were held in detention camps during the Mau Mau campaign. Many suffered abuses including beatings, rape and castration. The Kenya Human Rights Commission says 90,000 Kenyans were executed, tortured or maimed, and 160,000 people were detained in appalling conditions, according to the BBC report of 12 September 2015.
Kitson got his Military Cross for this.
Professor Hughes then points out that the Saville Report (2010) into Bloody Sunday and the de Silva Report (2013) on collusion with loyalist paramilitaries (into the murder of solicitor Pat Finucane, etc)
“led to two further ‘unconditional’ British apologies for the behaviour of its security forces in Northern Ireland. In November 2013, a BBC ‘Panorama’ investigation into British counterinsurgency in Northern Ireland in the early 1970s revealed that members of a special covert operations unit known as the Military Reaction Force (MRF) admitted to the murder of suspects and unarmed Catholic civilians. These admissions by the state or its agents confirm previous claims by critics dating back many decades. Such abuses were not merely low-level tactical excesses by undisciplined and racist troops but were institutional, systematic, and approved or covered up at the highest levels.”
Again, Kitson was central to these affairs.
BBC News, on 27 April 2015 reports “Ex-army chief General Sir Frank Kitson sued over 1973 killing in Belfast”.
“Proceedings have been issued against the Ministry of Defence and General Sir Frank Kitson. A former senior Army officer is to be sued over the death of a Catholic man in Northern Ireland. Mary, the widow of Eugene “Paddy” Heenan, 47 who murdered by the UDA in 1973 when travelling to work in a minivan, is suing the Ministry of Defence and Kitson because she claims Paddy died because of negligence and misfeasance in office.”
Frank Kitson, the British army’s acknowledged expert on counterinsurgency, was sent to Belfast as a brigade commander from September 1970 to April 1972. He was responsible for Belfast and surrounding districts. Kitson has been named as a co-defendant in the legal action by Mary Heenan on the grounds that he and others had “used agents knowing, or that they should have known that they would take part in criminal actions”.
Her solicitor, the well-known Kevin Winters of KRW Law, said:
“Given that those agents were embedded with paramilitary groups and the nature of Northern Ireland at the time, it was reasonably foreseeable that activity could include murder. Frank Kitson was therefore negligent in creating the policy and the ministry of defence were negligent when allowing its implementation. The policy created the expectation that people working for the state would commit murder,”
He claimed in the legal paters that “Kitson is liable personally for negligence and misfeasance in public office”, and that he had been “reckless as to whether state agents would be involved in murder”.
As late as 2003 a story in the Observer/Guardian confirmed this practice was ongoing:
“The most senior British Army intelligence officer in Northern Ireland in the mid-1990s invited the feared Loyalist killer Johnny ‘Mad Dog’ Adair to dinner and oversaw the leaking of military secrets about Republican suspects. Adair’s fingerprints have been found on at least a dozen military intelligence dossiers uncovered during investigations by the Stevens Enquiry team into collusion between loyalists and the security services. The Observer knows the identity of the officer concerned, but he cannot be named for legal reasons.” (The Observer Henry McDonald and Martin Bright Sun 27 Apr 2003 .
Frank Kitson is a war criminal and the Irish government should arraign him before the International Court of Justice in The Hague
Mike Jackson
General Sir Michael Jackson, who was an adjutant in 1 Para in the early 1970s, described Kitson as an ‘incisive thinker and military theorist’, and claimed that ‘he was the sun around which the planets revolved . . . and very much set the tone for the operational style’ in Belfast. He is the acknowledged expert on counter-insurgency in the British Army still, his Low Intensity Operations is a text book for the British Army.
Jackson, later to become head of the British Army, was operating as press officer in Ballymurphy during the massacre in August 1971. He fed the press a complete falsified account of a non-existent ferocious gun battle between the provisional IRA and the paratroopers. The local Unionist press took up the story. The tale was followed by a perfunctory inquest that simply recorded the cause of death of the victims.
These were accompanied by statements by the soldiers of coming under a barrage of fire and firing in self-defence. One soldier spoke of a middle-aged grandmother moving about a field and attacking him with a machine gun. In fact, there was no evidence of a gun battle. No weapons, no rounds, not even empty shell cases were recovered from this battle. The army may well have expected that the IRA would return fire, but the IRA knew about the internment raids were in safe houses.
The same 1st Battalion, Parachute Regiment with the same soldiers and commander, using the same methods, and with the same stories of imaginary gun battles, carried out the slaughter of the Derry civil rights march only months later, on 31 January 1972. Again, a large amount of British whitewash absolved the troops in the form of the Widgery Report, which the Saville report exposed as lies.
Mike Jackson was the adjutant at Bloody Sunday; he transferred the methods from Ballymurphy to Derry. He is a war criminal for what he did in Ballymurphy and Derry and the Irish government should arraign him before the International Court of Justice in The Hague for those crimes.
Is sinne, le meas
John Carty Chair
Gerry Downing Secretary
Irish Republican Prisoners Support Group,

With many thanks to: Gerry Joseph Downing for the original posting.

Ballymurphy Massacre ~ Inquest Opens

Today had been listed for many months as the opening of the new inquest into the Ballymurphy Massacre, when 11 people were killed by members of the British Parachute Regiment between 9th and 11th August, 1971.

Mrs Justice Keegan is presiding over the inquest and shows great concern to keep momentum moving despite the prevarication over disclosure by the Ministry of Defence and continuing problems over identification of relevant military witnesses. Her concern seems genuine for families to have a sense that things are moving forward.

A considerable body of supporters walked from the City Hall to the courts in a great show of encouragement and solidarity for the families in the lead up to the hearing.

Once the inquest convened, in the largest court in the building (a reflection of the level of interest), a short hearing heard of a revised timetable as set out below.

Essentially, it is hoped to get through non-contentious material between November and the Christmas break, consisting of opening matters, and routine witnesses: ambulance personnel, mappers, witnesses with factual information about the area and the circumstances leading to the deaths. In 2019, the contentious witness evidence will be heard: military personnel, eye-witnesses, forensic and ballistics evidence and so on. In detail, the schedule is now as follows:

Week beginning 6th November, screening applications (for witnesses who wish to give anonymised testimony)
Week beginning 12th November, formal opening of inquest and family statements. Each family will nominate one member to give a statement about their loved one, their lives, the impact of the loss on their family and their hopes for and expectations of the inquest. Counsel of the coroner will then make an opening statement outlining the general circumstances of the deaths, post-incident matters, the practice at the time for the Royal Military Police to interview soldiers involved, proceedings at the first inquest, some details on the structure and manner of proceedings for the inquest and the law and any precedents to be borne in mind for proceedings. The scope of the inquest will also be outlined.
Along with the non-contentious evidence, this should all take matters through to the Christmas break. Tracing of military witnesses will continue through the autumn, with Fridays set aside for this task and any rulings required in relation to it.
The inquest will normally be in session from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Thursday, in Court 12, on the fourth floor of the Laganside Court building.
The inquest is set to last for a considerable number of months, and given previous experience of the behaviour of the British military and MoD, further delays and prevarication are no doubt to be expected.

With many thanks to: Relatives For Justice for the original posting.

Praise for film shining light on Ballymurphy massacre

https://mobile.twitter.com/C4Dispatches/status/1038028578108198912/video/1

The film shown on Channel 4 on Saturday details the deaths of eleven people during the Ballymurphy Massacre.

 

There has been huge online reaction to the network premier of Massacre at Ballymurphy, the hard hitting documentary by award making film maker Callum Macrea, which screened on Channel 4 at the weekend.

The film, which was previously premiered at Féile an Phobail, was shown on Saturday, with a reconstruction and forensic examination of the events which started on August 9, 1971.

The documentary contains personal stories from relatives of the ten people shot dead in West Belfast by members of the Parachute regiment over three days of horrific violence. Paddy McCarthy, considered the 11th victim, died of a heart attack after soldiers fired shots over his head.

Among the dead a mother of eight Joan Connolly and Catholic priest, Fr Hugh Mullan who was shot dead going to the rescue of another victim.

The film details a shocking reenactment of the circumstances of Daniel Teggart’s death, shot fourteen times, with most of the bullets entered his back as he lay injured on the ground.

Following the programme Unionist Irish language activist Linda Ervine posted on Twitter that; “Before watching #MassacreAtBallymurphy I had no knowledge of what took place all those years ago. A terrible wrong has been done”.

Documentary maker Seán Murray said he hoped the screening of the film by Channel 4 “awakens the British public to the actions of their government during the conflict Well done to my friend Callum Macrae and all involved”.

Journalist and broadcast celebrity, Eamonn Holmes tweeted in support of film maker Callum Macrea saying; “Regardless of your Political persuasion or views on the Northern Irish Troubles, I would urge you to both hear what this man has to say and watch his film if you can. The Year is 1971 . The subject is the killing of civilians by the Parachute Regiment in Ballymurphy West Belfast”.

Ian Katz, director of programmes at Channel 4 said; “Ashamed to say I knew nothing about the Ballymurphy massacre – the 1971 killing of 11 men and women by the British army in Belfast – till I saw Callum Macrae’s meticulous and shocking reconstruction of it”.

Scottish political activist Tommy Sheridan said it was, “Absolutely shocking”.

“I am ashamed that despite my limited knowledge of British Army atrocities in Northern Ireland I didn’t know about these state murders in Ballymurphy.

“No wonder the British Establishment have hidden such massacres from the general public for 47 years”, he added.

Former soldier Glenn Bradley said he had “met the Ballymurphy families some years ago and have supported their call for truth since

“I watched Massacre At Ballymurphy and my lasting thought is how docile and compliant were the media then”.

Belfast boxer Michael Conlon said; “Watching Ballymurphy Massacre and listening to what family’s have gone through and still going through, my eyes are filling up, very sad stories to poor innocent families”. Former An trim football captain Anto Finnegan said: ” This is not writing history, this is shining a light into that dark place those in power want to keep hidden.”

With many thanks to: The Irish News for the original story.

We’ll not be derailed by latest MoD ‘stunt’

THE Ballymurphy Massacre families have said that the latest ‘stunt’ by the British Ministry of Defence will not derail their much anticipated inquest into the murder of there loved ones.

A preliminary inquest into the atrocity takes place at 2pm today (Thursday) at Belfast’s High Court.
Last week the MoD handed over a database containing almost 5,000 names of former soldiers to the Coroner’s Office.

The spreadsheet contains 1,366 names from the Parachute Regiment, 1,542 names from the Queen’s Regiment and eight names from the Queen’s Division. A further 1,492 names appear to be duplicates, meaning ‘when an individual has multiple regiments, or units on their Record

With many thanks to the: Belfast Media Group’s for the original story

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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