Families of Ballymurphy massacre victims settle civil cases against Ministry of Defence

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The families of nine people killed in the Ballymurphy massacre had brought Civil cases against the Ministry of Defence. The cases have now been settled with undisclosed damages to be paid.

British soldiers killed 11 people in Ballymurphy in west Belfast in 1971. The event is known as the Ballymurphy Massacre.

At the High Court in Belfast, justice Richard Humphreys said that the settlement represented the “end of a very long process” for the families. He was told in court that the cases had been settled by consent.

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Ballymurphy massacre

The amounts paid out in each case were not disclosed in court but the judge ordered the MoD to pay legal costs.

A statement from the families said they had secured “significant payment in damages” to the families of Fr Hugh Mullan, Frank Quinn, Joan Connolly, Noel Phillips, Joseph Murphy, Daniel Teggart, Edward Doherty, Joseph Corr and John Laverty.

Ballymurphy court case
Families of those killed at Ballymurphy in 1971 (Liam McBurney/PA)

 

In 2021, a fresh inquest concluded that the British Army killed 10 people at Ballymurphy and that they were all innocent victims.

Prime minister Boris Johnson issued an apology to the families in the House of Commons for the series of shootings. They took place over three days and came in the wake of the introduction of internment in Northern Ireland.

The massacre is only one incident in a long list of atrocities carried out by the UK during the Troubles in Ireland:

“All victims deserve justice”

Natasha Butler, a family member of one of the victims, had said in May:

A statement from the families said:

The conclusion of this case comes just over a year since the coroner Justice Siobhan Keegan found our loved ones entirely innocent.

The coroner found the British army responsible for deaths of our loved ones, however as we speak the Ministry of Defence haven’t come forward with an apology.

We have proven that current legal routes open to all victims of our troubled past do work despite the claims of Brandon Lewis and Boris Johnston to the contrary.

All victims deserve justice and full access to the courts.

A compensation claim from the family of the 10th person who died at Ballymurphy, and a number of people who were injured, are still progressing through the courts.

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