Statement from Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on findings of Ballymurphy inquest

I want to acknowledge the terrible 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. I pay tribute to the great patience with which their families have conducted themselves during their determined campaign, which has lasted almost 50 years. They should not have had to wait this long for details about the events that unfolded between 9 – 11 August 1971.

The Government will carefully consider the extensive findings set out by the Coroner, but it is clear that those who died were entirely innocent of wrongdoing.

This Government is clear that the current system for dealing with the legacy of the Troubles is not working for anyone – in particular, the families of the bereaved, such as those who lost loved ones in Ballymurphy in 1971, whose grief has been compounded by the long and difficult process of waiting for answers for so many years.

Every family who wants them deserves answers about what happened to their loved ones. We should never forget, dismiss, or ignore the past.

This Government wants to deliver a way forward that will provide information about what happened during the Troubles in a way that helps families get the answers they want and lays the foundation for greater reconciliation and a shared future for all communities.

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