Their brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters had been murdered by British soldiers who ran amok on a killing spree in Ballymurphy housing estate in West Belfast between August 9 and August 11 1971.
The British Parachute Regiment was responsible for the murders. The same regiment and the same battalion and possibly the same platoon went on to murder 14 civilians in Derry, on what became known as Bloody Sunday on January 30 1972.
The first massacre in Belfast was focused on operation Demetrius when the British army arrested Irish Catholic nationalists in their homes and transported them to the Long Kesh concentration camp on the outskirts of Belfast to be ‘Interned without trial’
The second massacre in Derry by the same troops, who had been transferred there specifically on that occasion, to confront and subdue a Civil Rights March, whose aim was to highlight the continued Internment without trial of Irish Catholic Nationalists.
There is no irony lost, that these troops first arrested men without trial then murdered anyone who stood in their way and finally murdered those peacefully marching against their actions and those of the state.
By late afternoon on Bloody Sunday 30 January 1972, 13 were dead on the day and many more wounded.
By the end of the day on 11 August 1971, ten were to die and many were wounded.
The facts speak for themselves. The dead cannot.
It has been the onerous duty of the living, the family members, the witnesses and the survivors to speak the truth of the events on those bloody days.
Ireland has had many atrocities and many people murdered by the forces of the state and the illegal British occupation of Ireland over the centuries.
The reason why these events are so significant is that they have all occurred within living memory - well, of those who survived, anyway. And their determination that the truth will be spoken, has carried on for 50 years.
Maybe you are at a loss, confused and wondering why 50 years on people are still demanding the truth?
Well, it really is quite simple.
The British troops on the ground, their leaders at General Headquarters and their masters in the British House of Commons, all conspired in the lie that those killed, those murdered, those injured were all armed terrorists engaged in attacks upon her majesty’s armed forces.
That reasonable force was used by the army to defend itself and the survivors and witnesses were liars and assisting those prosecuting violence against the British peacekeeping forces.
The only people using force and violence on these occasions were the British Army.
The death toll, the injuries and the number of bullets discharged all prove one thing.
A cold-blooded decision to murder unarmed innocent Irish Catholic nationalist citizens under occupation and therefore protection of the British state. A state which conspired to kill them, cover up the atrocities and exonerate the guilty by denigrating the innocent.
There have been numerous murderous attacks by the British forces of occupation on the Irish people, from the Red Coats through Cromwell’s massacre of Catholic at Drogheda Cathedral, to the black and tans and the ‘paras.'
Many of those involved in directing these operations were subsequently promoted like Colonel Michael Jackson - commander of the troops involved in Derry and Belfast - who would later become GOC. General Officer Commanding British Land Forces.
Between collusion with loyalist paramilitary counter-revolutionary murder gangs, targeting and assassinating Roman Catholic Irish nationalists, republicans and socialists, the British state has been up to its neck in extrajudicial murders, covers ups and whitewash inquiries.
Yesterday finally after 50 years, an inquest into the deaths, returned a verdict.
Mrs Justice Keegan in the Corners Court Belfast at the Inquest of those murdered said they were’ entirely innocent’ and that the British army had shot dead at least 9 of the 10 killed.
Those murdered were as a direct result of the state’s imposition of a policy, long used against the nationalist community by successive British and unionist regimes of ‘Internment without trial’.
The subsequent arrests, beating and resistance by the community to this emergency powers act of subjugation, led to the murders of 10 innocent unarmed people including a mother, a priest and a young man.
While Britain continues to deny justice to the victims of British military interventions at home and abroad we will see many other campaigns demanding truth which continue to battle the lies and smears of the British Government against innocent unarmed civilians
From Kenya to Belfast, from Basra to Kabul, from Las Malvinas to Damascus, British war crimes are unpunished and remain unprosecuted.
The outcome of the Ballymurphy Massacre could see the full implementation of an amnesty for British soldiers in all its wars of oppression, occupation and subjugation.
We must all see justice done for the victims, their families and their communities.
There must be No moratorium on British war crimes.
The next possible leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, the party which misruled Northern Ireland for more than 50 years is a former member of the British Army who thrust his bayonet through the throat of an Afghan native in Helmand province in Afghanistan.
This is how far politics has moved in Northern Ireland.
50 years of Unionist misrule
50 years of British governmental lies.
Now we have the spectre of a former soldier, decorated for killing Johnny Foreigner - an Afghan in his own country - with a bayonet, becoming the next leader of the Ulster Unionist Party
The following was reported on BBC News NI, 09-05-2019
The discipline of the Army prevented a higher death toll at Ballymurphy, a former British soldier has said.
The Ballymurphy inquest is looking into the shooting dead of 10 people in west Belfast in 1971.
Henry Gow is a trained barrister, a former soldier, SAS member, and policeman.
He claimed that soldiers ran sweepstakes on who would shoot a gunman first.
He further said that he believed inquests like this one were “witch hunts”.
Timeline of deaths.
Six civilians were killed on 9 August:(Wikipedia):
- Francis Quinn (19), shot while going to the aid of a wounded man.
- Father Hugh Mullan (38), a Catholic priest, shot while going to the aid of a wounded man, reportedly while waving a white cloth to indicate his intentions.
- Joan Connolly (44), shot as she stood opposite the army base. It has been claimed she was shot by three soldiers and that she might have survived had she been given medical attention sooner, but she lay injured in a field for several hours.
- Daniel Teggart (44) was shot fourteen times. Most of the bullets entered his back, allegedly as he lay injured on the ground.
- Noel Phillips (20), shot as he stood opposite the army base.
- Joseph Murphy (41), shot as he stood opposite the army base.] Murphy was subsequently taken into army custody and after his release, as he was dying in hospital, he claimed that he had been beaten and shot again while in custody. When his body was exhumed in October 2015, a second bullet was discovered in his body, which activists said corroborated his claim.]
One civilian was shot on 10 August and another three were shot on 11 August:
- Edward Doherty (28), shot while walking along Whiterock Road.
- John Laverty (20) and Joseph Corr (43) were shot at separate points at the top of the Whiterock Road. Laverty was shot twice, once in the back and once in the back of the leg. Corr was shot several times and died of his injuries on 27 August.
- John McKerr (49), shot by unknown attackers while standing outside a Catholic church, died of his injuries on 20 August.
- Paddy McCarthy (44) got into a confrontation with a group of soldiers. Family alleges an empty gun was put in his mouth and the trigger pulled. McCarthy suffered a heart attack and died shortly afterwards