THIS letter appeared in The Irish News on Tuesday May 14th 2o19
IN REFERENCE to The Irish News reports (May 9th) on my appearance at the inquest into the killing of 10 people, including a priest and a mother of eight, by the British Parachute Regiment in Ballymurphy in August 1971.
In its two-and-a-half page coverage of the Ballymurphy Inquest – including its front page – The Irish News devotes a full page and a half recycled allegations about my membership of the IRA. Three of the four headlines relate to this issue. Even where it deals with my evidence at the inquest the primary focus of the reports remain on allegations around IRA membership rather than my evidence which flatly contradicts British Army 💂💂💂 claims about what happened in the 48 hours after Internment was introduced.
Those killed were entirely innocent neighbors. They had no connection to any Republican organisation. They posed no threat to the British Army. They were trying to help neighbors who were fleeing from homes under attack by loyalist mobs, out looking for their children, or going about their lawful business.
I told the inquest that the IRA had decided not to engage with the British Army and had ‘faded away’, apart from some incidents of token residence, none of which played any role in the killings by British Paras. I repeatly and factually challenged the efforts by the Barrister representing the British Ministry of Defence to suggest that there were widespread armed actions from the IRA in Ballymurphy at the time. All of these are pertinent matters in the context of trying to get truth and justice for the families of those killed.
It is telling that the council for the British Ministry of Defense did not properly challenge my evidence or put to me any of the detail of the alleged gunfire 🔫🔥which some ex-British soldiers claim came from Republicans. Instead he concentrated on allegations against me which have nothing to do with the matters being investigated by the inquest. This points to the reality that there is no credible evidence to support the British allegations of sustained gunfire 🔫🔥directed at the Paratroopers. That is because there was none.
With many thanks to: The Irish News and Gerry Adams TD
◾Coverage of the Ballymurphy Inquest has been carried across more than 60 pages in The Irish News since the proceedings began five months ago. The vast majority of our reporting has made no reference to Mr Adams, and devolpments at the hearing which were unrelated to him were given front page prominence on both Friday and Saturday of last week (May 10 and 11). His comments on our approach to his high profile appearance in the witness box should be viewed in this context, and we are more than happy to provide him with the right of replay.
And this is from myself it wasn’t the British Ministry of Defense who were making recycled allegations about your membership of the IRA.
It was your comrades who served with you in the Irish Republican Army. It wasn’t only the one either was it Gerry? Brendan ‘The Dark’ Hughes was a very close and trusted comrade of yours. Who you accused of being an alcoholic and an awful a lot more into the bargain. And not forgetting your other very close comrade Gerry! Marian Price was she not a close comrade of yours Gerry? Are these two honest Republican’s laying when they swore you were a member of the IRA? Was Marian laying when she said you ordered her to drive Jean McConville to her death and she was dressed in a nuns habit? That wasn’t the British Ministry of Defence speaking it was your comrades.