Ballymurphy inquest: Response as ruling finds ten individuals killed have been harmless

2021-05-11 18:57:00

Households of these killed in Ballymurphy in 1971 have reacted to the conclusion of the inquest that the victims have been harmless with “critical reduction”.

The coroner overseeing the inquiry discovered that the ten individuals shot lifeless in west Belfast 50 years in the past have been harmless and their deaths have been with out justification.

9 of the shootings have been attributed to the British Military by Mrs Justice Keegan, who mentioned there was not sufficient proof to say the place the shot that killed the tenth individual got here from.

Eddie Doherty was killed in 1971
Eddie Doherty was killed in 1971

Patrick Doherty, whose father Eddie was killed aged 43 within the taking pictures, mentioned: “It’s a weight off my shoulders, it has been 50 years of significant onerous grief and ache, I simply really feel critical reduction.

“I want my mom may have been right here to see it. My mom died six years after my father and it’s simply reduction.

“We’ve got at all times identified he was an harmless man, we now have at all times identified everybody was harmless and it took 50 years.

“There’s a sense of happiness that we now have lastly cleared our family members’ names.

“It has been a protracted combat. My father was shot within the again and murdered. My father wasn’t within the IRA.”

The coroner dominated out paramilitary involvement by any of these killed, and described them as “solely harmless of any wrongdoing on the day in query”.

Eileen McKeown’s father Joseph Corr additionally died at Ballymurphy on the age of 43.

Victims of the Ballymurphy shooting
The individuals killed at Ballymurphy – together with an eleventh sufferer who died later and was not included within the inquest

She mentioned: “I used to be anticipating them simply to say they have been harmless. However when [the coroner] circled and mentioned that my daddy and John Laverty weren’t gunmen, and by no means ought to have been branded gunmen, that was actually sensible to listen to that.”

Ms McKeown added: “We’ve got fought lengthy and onerous for this, for 50 years, to declare my daddy an harmless man.

“My mummy died figuring out he was harmless however not getting any justice. I’ve misplaced 4 brothers to this, by means of the stress and the trauma that they needed to stay by means of.

“My brother Joe was with my daddy when he was shot. He lived with survivor’s guilt for years due to the truth that he left his daddy.”

She went on: “It has been a nightmare. Irrespective of the place you went, individuals could be asking you what occurred to your daddy.

“You have been afraid to say what occurred to your daddy as a result of he was shot, and due to what was written within the historical past books: that IRA gunmen have been shot in Ballymurphy in 1979.

“Folks simply presumed that they have been responsible due to what was put out within the media and what the Military mentioned.”

Eileein McKeown, front centre, pictured in 2018, said the fight to clear her father's name had been 'a nightmare'
Eileein McKeown, entrance centre, pictured in 2018, mentioned the combat to clear her father’s identify had been ‘a nightmare’

Geraldine Douglas, one other daughter of Mr Corr, mentioned: “It additionally signifies that the grandchildren and great-grandchildren do not must preserve combating the way in which Eileen has fought for our household for all these years.

“The combat is received, massive time.”

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