Northern Ireland

Families call for inquiry into 1971 Ballymurphy deaths

Gerry Adams
Image caption Gerry Adams was at the families news conference

The families of 11 people killed by the Army in 1971 have said they want an independent international investigation into the deaths.

They were killed by the Parachute Regiment in west Belfast in August 1971.

The call followed the Saville report into the Bloody Sunday killings in Londonderry.

They appeared at a news conference on Thursday alongside Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams.

At the conference was Carmel Quinn, whose brother John Laverty, 20, was one of those who died.

She said that following the Saville report, they wanted what she called a "statement of innocence from the British Government for those who died".

Mr Adams said: "In Ballymurphy six months before Bloody Sunday, we have another striking example of the brutality with which the Paras acted and how the British system then connived in a cover-up.

"In the 36 hours after the introduction of internment in August 1971 11 people - ten men, including a local priest and a mother of eight children - were killed by the British Army's Parachute Regiment in the Ballymurphy area.

"The accounts of how their loved ones died the bear a striking similarity to the stories told by the Derry families and now vindicated by the Saville report," he said.