Bradley should hang head in shame and leave, says Ballymurphy victim’s daughter

Families bereaved in shootings involving the British Army in Belfast almost 50 years ago have branded Karen Bradley’s apology too little, too late.

The Northern Ireland Secretary has said she is “profoundly sorry” for the “offence and hurt” caused after she suggested deaths caused by soldiers and police during the Troubles were not crimes.

A Catholic priest and a mother of eight were among 10 shot dead during three days of gunfire involving members of the Parachute Regiment in the Ballymurphy neighbourhood in August 1971.

Their deaths are currently being examined during long-awaited inquests in Belfast Coroner’s Court.

Ahead of Thursday’s proceedings, relatives spoke outside court to demand Mrs Bradley’s immediate resignation.

Briege Voyle (pictured), whose mother Joan Connolly was one of those shot dead, said: “I think she is a disgrace.

“We had to sit in there yesterday, me and my sisters, and listen to the horrific things that those soldiers done to my mummy. Blew half her face off, shot her in the thigh, shot her in the hand.

“And she’s telling me these soldiers did this with dignity? Where was the dignity in that? Where was my mummy’s dignity, where was my mummy’s right to life?”

Mrs Voyle said the Secretary of State should “hang her head in shame and leave”.

“And leave through the back door because nobody wants to know her – one more time she has put her foot in it and I just think she needs to go,” she added.

John Teggart, whose father Danny was shot 14 times, said Mrs Bradley had caused “deep hurt”.

“Her apology is too little, too late,” he said.

“I think Karen Bradley should resign immediately. She is in a position where she should never have been put. She has brought disgrace on to her Government and she has insulted many, many people.”

The Ballymurphy shootings took place as the British Army moved into republican strongholds to arrest IRA suspects in the wake of the introduction by the Stormont administration of the controversial policy of internment without trial.

As well as the 10 who sustained fatal gunshot wounds, another man died of a heart attack following an alleged violent confrontation with the troops in the west Belfast estate.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2019, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) David Young / PA Wire.