Northern Ireland news

Hundreds join march in support of Ballymurphy victims

The March for Truth, which takes place annually, travelled from Springfield Park to the Whiterock road in west Belfast. Picture by Ann McManus
Andrew Madden

HUNDREDS of people joined a march in support of relatives of victims of the 'Ballymurphy Massacre' yesterday.

The annual 'March for Truth' travelled from Springfield Park to the Whiterock Road in west Belfast.

Ten people were shot dead by British soldiers over a three-day period in August 1971 after the introduction of internment.

An eleventh also died of a heart attack after a confrontation with members of the Parachute Regiment.

A long-awaited inquest into the killings is due to get underway in Belfast next year.

Supporters held banners and images of the 11 civilians yesterday and Ciaran Steele, a nephew of victim Frank Quinn, praised the work of the committee behind the campaign.

"I'd like to say that you are truly an inspiration to us all. The next generation are ready and determined, if necessary, to fight for truth and justice to the very end," he said.

"It is also to you credit that it is now very rare when speaking of the Ballymurphy Massacre to find someone who has no knowledge of what occurred on those three fateful days in 1971.

"You can't hide from the truth because the truth is all there is."

West Belfast MP Paul Maskey told the rally that the British government has "abjectly failed to deal with the legacy of the past" and the role of its forces and agents in the killings of citizens.

He called for mechanisms on dealing with the past to be implemented fully.

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