Thursday, 24 June 2021

Questions (264)

Peadar Tóibín


264. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs his views on the Ballymurphy inquest verdict. [26145/21]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The Northern Ireland Coroner’s statement on 11 May was a very significant and detailed one, and its main findings are extremely important and clear; all ten of those killed in these events in August 1971 were found to be entirely innocent. This is a complete vindication of the determined and tireless campaign by the families on behalf of their loved ones. 

The Government has engaged with the families and supported them in their campaign to establish the facts of what happened, and they continue to have the Government's support as they consider their next steps forward. 

The significance of this campaign and these findings was fully evident in the aftermath of the inquest results, as politicians, community leaders and citizens from all communities welcomed the report and stood in solidarity with the Ballymurphy families.  I was also glad to participate, with the Taoiseach and other Deputies in acknowledging and highlighting those findings in the Dáil on 18 May. 

The deaths at Ballymurphy were part of the tragic legacy of the Troubles which saw the loss of over 3500 lives from all communities. 

Every family bereaved in the conflict must have access to an effective investigation and to a process of justice regardless of the perpetrator. All victims’ families deserve support in securing information about what happened to their loved ones. 

The Stormont House Agreement is a comprehensive and balanced framework, agreed by the two Governments and the political parties in Northern Ireland, to address the painful legacy of the past. It is vital that we make progress in its implementation - for all victims and families who have been waiting too long, and for society as a whole. The Government will continue to engage with the British Government on this most important issue in the period immediately ahead.