Northern Ireland

Ballymurphy families begin civil proceedings against MoD

Ballymurphy families gathered in London
Image caption The Ballymurphy families gathered outside the Ministry of Defence in London

The families of 10 people shot dead by the Army in west Belfast in 1971 have begun civil proceedings against the Ministry of Defence.

They travelled to London to hold a vigil outside the MoD, and hand a letter in to Downing Street.

The government has 21 days to respond to the letter, with the next step in proceedings beginning in September.

The Ballymurphy families represent 10 people killed in violence as the government introduced internment.

In September, they walked out of a meeting with Secretary of State James Brokenshire.

They had urged him to release funds for inquests into the shootings.

Image caption John Teggart said the families had waited 45 years

Speaking outside the MoD in Whitehall, John Teggart, whose father was one of those shot dead, said: "We have waited over 45 years and our loved ones are dying, our witnesses are dying.

"We would like to get this put to bed and hopefully overturn what was said in 1971, that all our loved ones were gunmen and gunwomen."

Inquests into the deaths are due to reopen in 2018.

Image caption Candles were lit for each of the 10 who died

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