Advertisement

We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

The families of the victims and supporters waving white flags with the words ‘innocent’ on them
innocent

Cars parade through Ballymurphy to cheers and applause after coroner’s ruling

A coroner ruled that the people killed in the west Belfast shootings involving British soldiers in August 1971 were “entirely innocent”.

A CAVALCADE OF cars passed through Ballymurphy last night thanking the community for its support over the past 50 years.

The convoy made its way through the streets yesterday beeping horns, hours after a coroner ruled that the 10 people killed in the west Belfast shootings involving British soldiers in Ballymurphy in August 1971 were “entirely innocent”.

The occupants of the vehicles waved white flags with the word “innocent” on them.

Locals lined the streets cheering and clapping, and banged bin lids on the footpaths as the cars made their way past.

Banging bin lids on the streets was was done during the Troubles to warn people the Army was in the area.

The cars passed by the houses of some of the victims.

The families of those killed have not been able to hold a large gathering due to Covid-19 public health restrictions.

But the families voiced their appreciation for all those who supported them through their campaign and joined them on the streets on Tuesday evening to celebrate the outcome of the inquest.

2.59711963 Briege Voyle, daughter of victim Joan Connolly, releases doves in the Ballymurphy area yesterday Liam McBurney / PA Images Liam McBurney / PA Images / PA Images

Carmel Quinn, whose brother John Laverty was shot, said: “I want to thank our whole community in Ballymurphy because in early days of the Troubles they stuck with the families and helped us get through.

“Now we’ve got truth and now we’re going to seek justice.”

Liam Quinn, who was holding a poster of his brother Frank Quinn, said: “I’d just like to thank the people of Ballymurphy for all your support and everything you’ve done for us.

“Thank you very, very much. I love you all.”

Pat Quinn, another brother of Frank Quinn, said: “I’d like to thank everyone in Ballymurphy, I’m not originally from here but now I’m adopted.”

Briege Voyle, daughter of Joan Connolly, said the families could not thank the locals enough for their support.

“We will be praying for you every night,” she said.

“”Without you spreading the word for us we wouldn’t be standing here today. It’s not like in 1971 when they told lies on us.

“But today they told the truth and you’ll spread it for us. Our loved ones are innocent.”

She released a number of doves on behalf of the families.

Earlier there were jubilant scenes outside Belfast Coroner’s Court as the families of those shot in Ballymurphy emerged to cheers from supporters.

Mrs Justice Keegan ruled out any paramilitary involvement by any of those killed in Ballymurphy, and described them as “entirely innocent of any wrongdoing on the day in question”.

The Army was found to be responsible for nine of the 10 deaths in August 1971, which included a mother of eight and a Catholic priest.

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
7
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel