Families of Ballymurphy victims angered at Boris Johnson's apology for massacre

Families of Ballymurphy victims angered at Boris Johnson's apology for massacre

THE FAMILIES of some of the victims of the Ballymurphy massacre have said they do not accept the apology from Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Yesterday, Boris Johnson apologised 'unreservedly' on behalf of the British Government for the British Army operation known as the Ballymurphy massacre in which 10 innocent people were killed.

The Ballymurphy Inquests began in November 2018, and examined the deaths which occurred in and around the Ballymurphy area of west Belfast over three days in August 1971, and in which the British Army shot at least 9 completely innocent people dead-- a fact now confirmed after the inquest came to an end earlier this week

Victims included a Catholic priest, who was trying to help the wounded, and a mother of eight.

Mrs Justice Keegan, ruling, could not definitively say who had shot the tenth victim who died at the Ballymurphy Massacre, Mr John McKerr, but determined that he had been completely innocent.

The families of the victims have been campaigning for justice for their loved ones for decades, and there were scenes of relief outside the courthouse on Tuesday as the fight for justice was won.

While Mr Johnson apologised for the "tragic ... "events of August 1971", he did so on a phone call to Northern Ireland leaders Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill, and the contents of the call were revealed in a statement from Downing Street.

Some of the victims' families are said to be angry at the manner in which Mr Johnson apologised: solicitor Pádraig Ó Muirigh told RTÉ News that they would not accept the apology.

Stating the families are "very angry", Mr Ó Muirigh said the apology "seems to have happened at a private meeting out of public view, and not directly to the families, and in those circumstances they wouldn't accept that apology".

The daughter of Ballymurphy victim Joseph Corr, Eileen McKeown, said the Prime Minister's attempt at an apology had "taken away the joy and relief" she and her family had felt at Mr Corr's name being cleared.

He had "dampened the whole high that we were on", she told RTÉ's Drivetime, saying "it was no apology to give to anybody".

The family had not received any sort of communication to tell them the PM would be apologising, and it was done in a private call, which to her means "he hasn't apologised".

"He knows nothing about me, he knows nothing about my Daddy," she said.

"We should have been the first ones to hear that off him," she said, adding that he should have apologised to them personally in Stormont.

John Teggart, whose father Danny was killed in the massacre, said he had heard about the apology on the radio and admitted he was angry, but apologies are "not supposed to anger you".

"I haven't heard an apology, I've heard a statement," he said.