Ballymurphy: 10 people shot dead were innocent, inquest finds

Ballymurphy: 10 people shot dead were innocent, inquest finds

Ballymurphy: 10 people shot dead were innocent, inquest finds

Brandon Lewis said this also extended to the families for the "additional pain" they have had to endure and at how investigations were handled.

In his letter Mr Johnson said: "I unequivocally accept the findings of the coroner".

He said there was "no doubt what happened on those very bad few days in Ballymurphy fuelled further violence and escalation, particularly in the early years of the Troubles".

A Downing Street spokesperson said: "The prime minister spoke to the first minister and deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill, this afternoon".

Brandon Lewis continued: "The Government profoundly regrets and is truly sorry for these events, and how investigations after these bad events were handled, and the additional pain that the families have had to endure in their fight to clear the names of their loved ones since they began their campaign nearly five decades ago".

"The way he should have done it, contact the families and make the apology in public, in the houses of Parliament".

I want to acknowledge the awful hurt that has been caused to the families of Francis Quinn, Father Hugh Mullan, Noel Phillips, Joan Connolly, Daniel Teggart, Joseph Murphy, Edward Doherty, John Laverty, Joseph Corr, and John McKerr.

"The secretary of state says that the British army made awful errors in Northern Ireland", SDLP leader Colum Eastwood told Lewis from across the Commons chamber.

It's just a few months short of half a century on from three bloody days when up to 40 people were shot by paratroopers on a West Belfast estate, 10 of them fatally.

Families of the dead, whom the coroner said were all declared "entirely innocent of any wrongdoing", have accused successive governments in London of a cover-up.

There was not enough evidence to say whether the army were responsible for the death of one the victims, John James McKerr, who was indiscriminately shot going to and from work.

"You should never have had to experience such grief at the loss of your loved ones and such distress in your subsequent quest for truth". They should not have had to wait this long for details about the events that unfolded between 9 - 11 August 1971.

He added that the desire for families of victims to know the truth about what happened to their loved ones was "strong and legitimate".

The government plans to "deliver a way forward in Northern Ireland that focuses on reconciliation, delivers for victims of the Troubles and ends the cycle of reinvestigations", Johnson was quoted by the spokesman as saying.

He "apologised unreservedly on behalf of the United Kingdom government for the events that took place in Ballymurphy and the huge anguish that the lengthy pursuit of truth has caused the families of those killed", No 10 said.

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