U.K. PM Johnson apologizes 'unreservedly' for 1971 Belfast killings

13 Mai, 2021, 13:39 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • A mural honouring those killed at Ballymurphy

The prime minister 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.

"The Prime Minister apologised unreservedly on behalf of the UK 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".

Mr Lewis said the PM was writing to the families.

Johnson's words of contrition came in a Downing Street statement issued after he spoke by videoconference Wednesday to the joint leaders of Northern Ireland's power-sharing government, Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster and Sinn Féin vice president Michelle O'Neill. "The way he should have done it, contact the families and make the apology in public, in the houses of Parliament".

"Will this Prime Minister now finally apologise for what those British Forces did by murdering 10 entirely innocent people or will they continue to pursue an amnesty for their killers?"

The No 10 statement added: "The prime minister restated the government's intention to deliver a way forward in Northern Ireland that focuses on reconciliation, delivers for victims of the Troubles and ends the cycle of reinvestigations".

"His apology means nothing", said Briege Voyle, whose mother died from a high-velocity shot to the head.

She said it would have been "at least been a bit more respectful" if the British Prime Minister had made his apology in the House of Commons.

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She said his attempt to do it over a private phone call with politicians was "trying to push it under the carpet".

On Thursday, Mr Lewis told Parliament that he wanted "to put on record the government's acknowledgement of the bad hurt" caused to the Ballymurphy families.

"It's not a public apology. what kind of insult is it to families that he couldn't have the conversation with ourselves".

"Where he comes out and addresses the families, reflects on what has happened; reads the full report and understands the impact this has had on these families and on the communities in which they lived".

Coroner Mrs Justice Keegan found that the use of lethal force by the Army was not justified. The Ballymurphy victims were blamed as a defence of their killings, which the UK Government apologised for today.

The victims include Father Hugh Mullan, 38, and Francis Quinn, 44 who was shot when he went to the priest's aid.

Relatives of John Laverty comfort each other as they arrive for the inquest into the Ballymurphy Massacre, 11-05-2021.

She also criticised the lack of investigation into the 10th death, that of John McKerr - a former soldier in the British Army who lost his hand in the Second World War - and said she could not definitively rule who had shot him.

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