Time for Truth rally against amnesty bill

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Over a thousand people gathered in Belfast on Sunday, 11 September to demand the scrapping of the British government’s plan to provide an amnesty for British war criminals.

Relatives of those killed during the conflict and supporters marched from points around the city to Belfast City Hall against the unprecedented legislation being put through the Westminster Parliament.

The majority of bereaved families in attendance at the ‘Time for Truth’ rally lost loved ones in killings involving the Crown forces.

The legislation would also end inquests and civil proceedings related to the conflict. The bill is opposed by all political parties in the North and all victims’ groups, as well the Irish government.

Sinn Féin MP John Finucane, whose father Pat was murdered by loyalists in 1989 in a killing linked to MI5, told the event the Bill is designed to cover up the London government’s role in the conflict.

He called on British Prime Minister Liz Truss to bin the flawed Tory legacy ‘bill of shame’ without any further delay.

“The introduction of the Legacy Bill is evidence that the British government have much, much more to conceal and cover-up from their dirty war in Ireland,” he said.

“These actions are deliberately cruel, and show that the British government care not for the lives of our loved ones, nor do they care about the rule of law, truth or justice.

“And that they couch this legislation in the language of reconciliation is truly shameful.

“We need to be honest. This Bill is another slap in the face to victims.

“It is the price for delivering a Tory manifesto commitment that prioritises the demands of the British military over the legal rights of victims.”

Natasha Butler, whose grandfather Paddy Butler was shot dead by soldiers in west Belfast in 1972, branded the legislation a “slap in the face to victims”.

“We will stop this obnoxious Bill by whatever means possible. We must never give up. We must fight on. We will fight on and we will not go away until truth and justice are achieved.”

SPRINGHILL

There was good news for the victims of the 1972 Springhill/Westrock massacre this week after a date for an inquest was finally set. The landmark came more that fifty years after the atrocity in which three teenagers, a father-of-six and a local parish priest were killed by British soldiers.

Commenting on the hearing Padraig O Muirigh, who represents four of the five families involved, said it was a significant development for the families.

“It is now over 50 years since these tragic events and there has never been a thorough investigation into the circumstances of the deaths of their loved ones.

“The truth about what happened on the 9th July 1972 has been buried for over 50 years. These brave families have had to use the inquest system to excavate the truth.

He added: “It is no coincidence that the British government have sought to end the legacy inquests as they have been shown time and time gain that they can work for families.”

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