Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle says British Government must not curtail further legacy inquests

Pringle says British Government must not curtail further legacy inquests

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, said the Government needs assurances from the British Government that it will not seek to curtail further legacy inquests.

Deputy Pringle said: “How many other families and communities are waiting for answers and justice?”

The deputy addressed the Dáil yesterday (Tuesday) on the Ballymurphy inquest, which found last week that the 10 people murdered in the August 1971 Ballymurphy massacre were entirely innocent.

He said further unnecessary upset was caused to the families and many others across the North “with the ill-conceived talk of an amnesty for British soldiers’ actions during the Troubles. I see the Taoiseach apparently ‘warned’ Johnson against such a move in their meeting last week but how strong was this warning?

“An amnesty cannot happen,” he said. “Some families are only now getting some justice and answers. Many will never get any answers. But procedures must be in place to allow people to look for justice and for criminal prosecutions, where appropriate.”

Deputy Pringle said: “I support the calls of the ICCL and the Committee for the Administration of Justice that we need assurances from the British government that it will not seek to curtail further legacy inquests through its proposed Northern Ireland Legacy Bill.”

He said: “The hurt, injustice and cover-ups are not just part of history. They are evident in everyday lives, families and communities.”

The deputy said: “We know well in this House about the Dublin and Monaghan bombing victims’ families and how they are being thwarted by the British as well.”

Deputy Pringle was critical of EU silence on Ballymurphy, saying there had been talk in the House in recent days “about the vital role that the European Union played in ensuring peace and the Good Friday Agreement. But I haven’t heard any comment from the European Union in relation to Ballymurphy and what happened there.”

He also slammed British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for his failure to apologise publicly for the killings.

Deputy Pringle said: “Why wasn’t a full and unreserved apology delivered from the floor of Westminster, as David Cameron did after the Saville inquiry?

“Johnson’s private apology for the Ballymurphy massacre was reportedly delivered over a call to Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill in the North. A letter sent to families is also not sufficient.”

He said: “Fifty years these families have been fighting for justice and answers. The least the prime minister could do is offer an official, adequate, public apology.  The untruths told about the 10 victims were, at the time, public, therefore correcting the record should also be acknowledged in a public way.”

Deputy Pringle concluded: “I would again like to commend the families and communities that never give up looking for truth, justice and answers for their lost loved ones. I offer my full solidarity to them all.”