16 February 2006 Edition
New Lodge Six Remembered
Thirty-three years ago Jim Sloan, Jim McCann, John Loughran, Brendan Maguire, Tony 'TC' Campbell and Ambrose Hardy were shot dead by the British Army on the New Lodge Road. On Friday 3 February families and friends of the victims gathered with other members of the community to yet again demand justice. The nephew- and namesake of John Loughran told the assembled crowd that the campaign for truth would continue.
"Through the New Lodge Six community inquiry we presented our version of what happened that night in 1973," said John Loughran firmly, "but the British Government has yet to even acknowledge receipt of that report. What message does that send to the families here tonight? What message does that send to those who have lost loved ones at the hand of the British state and their surrogates?"
"We have witnessed, through the OTR legislation, British efforts to deny families of British State murder the truth and justice they deserve. To date, no British soldier or British politician has been brought to book for the murders of Jim McCann, Jim Sloan, Tony Campbell, Brendan Maguire, John Loughran or Ambrose Hardy. Does this send the signal that the British Government is interested in peace-building or conflict resolution?"
Sinn Féin MLA for North Belfast, Kathy Stanton, also addressed the gathered crowd.
"This was a planned operation to murder and maim," said Stanton, "It was however, in keeping with the British policy at that time. In the period of 1969-'73 the British state killed 188 people here in Ireland. What happened in the New Lodge was part of that pattern."
Concluding the event John Loughran added: "We are stronger and more confident than ever before. Confident that we are right and confident that justice will be done."