Irish Republican News · January 28, 2010
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Ballymurphy group ‘dismissed’ by Victims Commission

Families campaigning for an independent investigation into the killing of 11 relatives in west Belfast in the aftermath of internment walked out of meeting with the victims commissioners after feeling insulted.

The Ballymurphy Massacre Group said it felt let down on learning that the Commission for Victims and Survivors would not be supporting its calls for an international, independent investigation.

The group had met commissioners Brendan McAllister and Bertha McDougall in September to discuss its plight.

Eleven people, including a Catholic priest and a mother-of-eight, were shot and killed by the British army in August 1971

The Ballymurphy Massacre Group has since been campaigning for an investigation and has voiced its opposition to cooperating with the PSNI police Historical Enquiries Team on the basis that it is not independent.

However, the group has been informed this week that the commission will not support it calls for an investigation, a statement of acknowledgement of the innocence of all the victims and an apology from the British government.

The group were informed of the decision during a meeting which ended in the families walking out after 50 minutes.

Patricia MacBride, the sister of an IRA man killed by the SAS, is the only commissioner who has not met the families.

The Ballymurphy Massacre Group last night said its members felt “let down, insulted and dismissed” and claimed the response from the commission brought its integrity into question.

Carmel Quinn, whose 20-year-old brother John Leverty was among those killed in August 1971, said: ~We just aren’t the right type of victims.

“The victim commission should be supporting victims acknowledging when processes are inappropriate and inadequate,” she said.

“They should be walking with families by their side not undermining them.”

SDLP assembly member Alex Attwood said it was “disappointing” the families had not received the support they had requested.

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