Ballymurphy Massacre victims endure ‘harrowing’ inquest

Ballymurphy Massacre victims endure ‘harrowing’ inquest Fr Patrick McCafferty

Families of the Ballymurphy Massacre are reliving the “harrowing” details of the killing of their loved ones as the inquest into their deaths continues, according to the parish priest of Ballymurphy.

Fr Patrick McCafferty said that revisiting the tragedy for the victims’ families is “as raw today as it was almost 50 years ago”.

This comes as the inquest heard this week that the people shot dead in Ballymurphy, West Belfast, were thrown into the back of an army vehicle “like animals”.

Fr McCafferty said the victims were treated in a “disrespectful, disgraceful manner” and that the event “brutally interrupted the family’s’ lives”.

“To hear something like that, you can just imagine the impact on the families.”

Crossfire

The inquest into the shooting of 10 innocent people began in Belfast on Monday, November 12, in Laganside Court. They were gunned down by members of the 1st Battalion, Parachute Regiment while one person is believed to have had a heart attack as a result of an altercation with soldiers.

Among those killed were a parish priest coming to the aid of a wounded man and a mother of eight. At the time the British army said those who were killed were either IRA gunmen or were caught in the crossfire.

Opening statements were heard followed by personal statements from relatives of the victims. Evidence will then be focused on from November 28.

A special Mass for the families will be held in Fr McCafferty’s parish this Sunday.

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