THIS week’s announcement by the Attorney General John Larkin that inquests are to reopen into the deaths of 10 of the 11 people killed in the Ballymurphy Massacre of August 1971 is to be welcomed. But the families of the slain have come too far, worked too hard and endured to much to imagine that this will automatically and finally give them part of the justice that they crave.
There is a mountain of work now to be done by the families and their legal representatives ahead of the inquests and the inquiry they still demand. We have tried our best to cover the Ballymurphy tragedy, but the torrent of reports and features that we have carried down through the years are only a drop in that vast ocean of pain and lies and grief in which the families are adrift. Thanks to their tireless work, West Belfast knows the truth of what happened across those three bloody days in 1971; the country knows what happened; the world knows what happened. The job now is to have that truth recorded as legal record.
In the meantime, our thoughts are with the family of Paddy McCarthy, whose death, alone among the 11, will not be considered. He remains a massacre victim; the truth of his death must be made known too