Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs Brendan Smith has repeated his call on the Taoiseach to demand an independent inquiry into the Ballymurphy Massacre after Secretary of State Villiers rejected the need for an inquiry on Tuesday 29th April.

The Ballymurphy Massacre was one of the worst atrocities of the British Army in Northern Ireland. Ten people were killed in Belfast after being shot by soldiers over three days of gunfire in August 1971.

Commenting on the refusal of the British Government to hold an independent inquiry Deputy Smith said, “At a time when Irish-UK working relations are very positive, it is disappointing that the British administration is still refusing to establish the truth as to what happened in Ballymurphy in August 1971. Innocent civilians were gunned down in a frenzy which has left so much hurt and pain among the families of the victims.

“We are continuously told how close the Taoiseach and the British Prime Minister are in their political outlook and activities. I am calling on the Taoiseach to use this influence to ensure that an independent inquiry is held into what happened in Ballymurphy. The families are entitled to know the truth of what happened in August 1971. It is the least they deserve. All they are asking is that the British Government acknowledges that those killed were innocent of any wrongdoing.

“The inquiry proposed could take a form similar to that of the Hillsborough Independent Panel which proved effective and established the facts surrounding that tragic event in a relatively short period of time. The truth needs to be told about what happened in Ballymurphy. Until that happens, this part of our history will remain a source of hurt and pain for the families affected. It will remain a black spot in the relationship between Ireland and Britain.”