Northern Ireland news

Ballymurphy shootings: Coroner appeals for information from ex-soldiers

Relatives of Ballymurphy victims at a recent protest at Stormont. Picture by Mal McCann

THE coroner heading an inquest into the Ballymurphy shootings in 1971 has appealed for information, including from former British soldiers.

A Catholic priest and a mother-of-eight were among those killed during three days of shooting involving members of the Parachute Regiment in west Belfast after the introduction of internment in August that year.

Those who died were Francis Quinn, Fr Hugh Mullan, Noel Phillips, Joan Connolly, Daniel Teggart, Joseph Murphy, Edward Doherty, John Laverty, Joseph Corr and John James McKerr.

As well as the 10 people shot, another man died of a heart attack following an alleged violent confrontation with British soldiers in the estate.

An inquest is due to be held in Belfast starting on September 10.

The coroner has appealed to all witnesses to the shootings, including soldiers from the Queen's and Parachute Regiments, to pass on any information they have.

He also said he wants to contact any former members of the British army's Special Investigation Branch and the Royal Military Police who were involved in the initial army investigations.

A spokesman for the Coroners Service said: "If you had any involvement in, were a witness to the shootings or if you have other information to provide about the shootings, this is an important opportunity for you to assist the inquest and make your account known".

Witnesses may be asked to provide a statement or give evidence at the inquest.

"It should be noted that the coroner will consider all requests for special measures from any potential witness," the spokesman said.

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