Ballymurphy families achieve ‘significant’ settlement with Ministry of Defence

Ballymurphy families achieve 'significant' settlement with Ministry of Defence

Photo credit: Jon Crel, CC BY-ND 2.0

The Ministry of Defence has agreed to pay a “significant” sum of money to a number of families of those killed in the Ballymurphy massacre in August 1971.

The settlement, announced in the High Court in Belfast yesterday, relates to nine of the 10 people killed in the massacre. Other civil proceedings are ongoing.

Last year, fresh inquests into the killings concluded that all 10 victims were “entirely innocent of any wrongdoing” on the days they were killed.

In a statement, solicitor Pádraig Ó Muirigh of Ó Muirigh Solicitors, who represented eight of the nine families, said: “In 2017 we issued civil proceedings against the MoD and [the Chief Constable of the PSNI] in relation to the families of those killed, and a number of individuals shot and injured, in the Ballymurphy massacre in August 1971.

“A number of these legal actions were settled this morning at Belfast High Court. The confidential nature of the settlement does not allow me to disclose the settlement figure. However, the settlement was significant and our client were satisfied with the outcome. These proceedings also follow the milestone inquest findings delivered last May.

“Rather than peddling ‘false hope’ as [British Secretary of State] Brandon Lewis said last week, these legal actions provided much information and a degree of comfort to the Ballymurphy families. They are an example as to why [British government] proposals on legacy must be resisted!”

He added: “The civil proceedings in relation to the death of John McKerr and Paddy McCarthy are ongoing. We hope to achieve a satisfactory outcome for these families and those shot and injured at Ballymurphy in the near future.”

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