Belfast priest has called for a “full disclosure” inquiry into a 1971 British Army operation in west Belfast
A leading Belfast priest has called for a “full disclosure” inquiry into a 1971 British Army operation in west Belfast in which 11 people were killed.
Fr Des Wilson said there “absolutely needs to be full disclosure” to alleviate the sense of injustice held by the families of the Ballymurphy massacre victims.
“Without full disclosure, this hurt will go on and on and will inevitably be passed to the future generations,” Fr Wilson told The Irish Catholic.
“There are many people who have worked very hard to get an inquest into this. Rightly so – people have been blamed for doing things they didn’t do.
“The Government have nothing to lose here. In fact at a time when people are growing more doubtful of politicians this is an opportunity for them to gain some credibility,” he said.
Fr Wilson’s call comes after Taoiseach Enda Kenny visited the scene of the shootings last week and voiced support for the Ballymurphy families’ campaign for justice.
Ten people died after being shot by soldiers, among them a Catholic priest and a mother of eight, over three days of gunfire in August 1971. Another man died of a heart attack following an alleged violent confrontation with the troops.
Last year the UK Government rejected an independent re-examination of the 1971 shootings.
Speaking to this newspaper, Breige Boyle, the daughter of Ballymurphy massacre victim Joan Connolly, said: “All I want is for the British government to acknowledge that these 11 innocent people were murdered. If they had been soldiers they would have been given medals but, because of who they are, our relatives get nothing.
“What happened that day was devastating and we have been just left with it. After 43 years of fighting for justice, hope is all I have.”