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2 April 2012 Edition

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Ballymurphy Massacre families press for meeting with Prime Minister

RELATIVES OF 11 SHOT DEAD IN INTERNMENT MASSACRE BY BRITISH PARATROOPERS LOBBY WESTMINSTER

‘David Cameron should meet with the families as a matter of urgency and help in their search for justice’ – Paul Maskey, Sinn Féin West Belfast MP

THE ‘Ballymurphy Massacre Families’ - relatives of 11 civilians shot dead by the British Army’s Parachute Regiment in west Belfast in the days around internment, 9 to 11 August 1971 - have pressed home their demand for a face-to-face meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron in briefings with Members of Parliament at Westminster.

The families have written to David Cameron, pointing out that they have the support of the Irish Government, Sinn Féin, the SDLP, members of the Alliance Party, members of Britain’s House of Lords and the US Congress, and the Catholic Church. The Conservative Party PM still refuses to meet them.

The Ballymurphy families travelled to London on 5 March and met the Conservative Party Chair of the NI Affairs Committee, Laurence Robertson; Labour MPs Vernon Coaker (Shadow Secretary of State), Stephen Pounds, Ian Lavery, Chris Ruane and Paul Goggins; Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards; Lord Alf Dubs and Baroness Angela Smith (Labour); and Lord Trevor Smith (Liberal Democrats).

West Belfast Sinn Féin MP Paul Maskey, who accompanied the families, said afterwards:

“There was little distinction between the events of Bloody Sunday, the Ballymurphy Massacre and many other instances where the British Army shot down people on the streets of Ireland. In each case, the role of the British Army in Ireland was made very clear.

“The families’ demands for the truth must be met. David Cameron should meet with the families as a matter of urgency and help in their search for justice.”

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