Time for truth
Time for truth


Thousands of people have taken part in a march for victims of the recent conflict in Belfast. They came together last weekend as they made their way to City Hall under the banner ‘Time for Truth’.

Marchers carried photographs of their loved ones as they walked from different areas of Belfast to Belfast City Hall, where the rallies converged. Although most participants came from a nationalist and republican background, the rally welcomed all victims wanting the truth.

Addressing the crowd were representatives of the Sean Grahams bookies massacre, Bloody Sunday, Loughinisland, McGurk’s Bar, Kelly’s Bar and Ballymurphy Massacre families.

Briedge Voyle told the crowd: “The British government and the media branded our loved ones as gunmen and gunwomen like those murdered on Bloody Sunday.

“We now know it was the same parachute regiment that killed our loved ones in the streets of Ballymurphy and Derry also on the Shankill road in 1972.

“It makes me so angry that we have to take to the streets to get the truth. But that’s why we are here today, and I want to thank all of you for walking with me and making our voices heard.”

John Teggart, one of the march organisers and spokesperson for the Ballymurphy Massacare families, said it had been a very emotional day for everyone involved.

“Standing on the stage and looking out at the that sea of faces holding photos of their loved ones was heart-wrenching, it’s a sight I will never forget,” he said.

So-called legacy issues were among those discussed as part of a collapsed deal to restore power-sharing at Stormont last month. Although Sinn Fein said they had reached an agreement with the British government to continue funding inquests for conflict-related killings, that deal was abandoned after the DUP pulled out over proposed measures to support the Irish Language.

Sinn Fein’s Gerry Kelly said the British government must nevertheless address the needs of victims.

He said thousands of people had stood in support of the families and victims, some of whom have been waiting over forty five years for truth and justice. “This issue is not going away,” he said.

The north Belfast representative called on the British government to release funding for legacy inquests.

“The British government have a responsibility to start the consultation on the legacy mechanisms agreed at Stormont House more than three years ago and release the money necessary to the Lord Chief Justice to deal with the backlog of legacy inquests. After all the Lord Chief Justice stands outside of politics and is tasked simply with running the courts.

“It is unacceptable that some families have waited more than four decades for this most basic of human rights, the British government should move immediately to bring their suffering to an end,” he said.

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