Stormont Votes Against Ballymurphy Massacre Inquiry



Today the story broke that an ex-soldier has been arrested in connection with Bloody Sunday in which 13 people (and another who later died from his injuries) were murdered at a protest against internment in Derry's Bogside on 30 January 1972.

The soldiers involved in the massacre, the Parachute Regiment, were involved in another massacre less than six months prior to this. In August 1971, 11 people were murdered over a period of three days by the Parachute Regiment in Ballymurphy in the west of the city - 10 were shot and another suffered a heart attack after a confrontation with a soldier in which it is alleged that the soldier put an empty gun into his mouth and pulled the trigger.

Yesterday, the Stormont assembly voted down a motion that called on Theresa Villers, the Secretary of State, to join the southern government in calling for an independent inquiry into the massacre.

The families of the victims of the Ballymurphy Massacre call for the "appointment of an Independent Panel to examine all documents relating to the context, circumstances and aftermath of the deaths of their loved ones. Its focus would include: the investigation of the role of the British Government, British Army, criminal justice agencies such as the RUC, DPP, the Coroner’s Office and the significance of the media."

Yesterday's motion comes over a year and a half after Villiers ruled out an inquiry into the massacre.

Both Bloody Sunday and Ballymurphy Massacre took place against the backdrop of oppressed Catholics resisting state oppression particularly in the context of mass arrest and internment, using violence and terror to aid and abet this task.

British occupation here, and throughout the globe, as well as occupation by other imperial and colonial powers, has accounted for the murder of many innocent lives. Many have died suffering from mentally and physically ill health as a result of imperialism and many today suffer still. It has created desperate situations for people who had the simple misfortune of being born in a place where a superior power could reap economic and territorial benefits.

The sheer strength of shrewdness of tactics of British Imperialism is made all the more clear at this time of year when mainstream society is compelled to "honour" those responsible for so much misery and destruction and those who refuse to join in are painted as the criminals.

People who refuse the "Poppy Compulsion" are demonised while those who murdered the innocent are made heroes of.

Those who did the rich man's bidding and those who simply "followed orders" are not heroes. The real heroes are those who fought for more; those who fought to raise their children in a just society; those who fought against brutality of the state; those who fought for the liberation of all - liberation from oppression, from rulers and from tyranny.

In the end it is the capitalist State that will feel the wrath of its victims.

No justice - No peace!

WORDS: Fionnghuala Nic Roibeaird