MEMBERS of the Oireachtas Good Friday Agreement Committee have attended the inquest in Belfast into the Springhill/Westrock Massacre.

Five civilians were murdered in West Belfast by the British Army on 9 July 1972. One year on from the start of the inquest, families are hopeful that the inquest will reach its conclusion before the 1 May when the British government's Legacy Bill comes into place, which will effectively end the opportunity for any further or ongoing inquests into deaths during the conflict.

Chair of the committee, Fine Gael TD Fergus O'Dowd, Sinn Féin TD's Rose Conway-Walsh and Pauline Tully TD, along with Independent Seanadóir Frances Black, were joined by Sinn Féin MPs Paul Maskey and Francis Molloy.
Deputy Conway-Walsh said: “The solicitors for the families of those massacred, including Pádraig Ó Muirigh, gave us an update on the progress of the inquest. Mr Ó Muirigh focused on the importance of public representatives attending the inquest.
“He also emphasised the importance of having a public inquest into the Springhill killings. And cross-examining the soldiers who carried out the killings.
“The British government's Legacy Bill will deny families of relatives killed by the British state forces the opportunity and right to hold to account those responsible for killings.

“There is no substitute for public investigation and the airing in a public courtroom the circumstances of killings that occurred during the conflict.
“The Legacy Bill of Shame will cover up and protect the British government and its armed forces and deny justice and truth to the relatives of those who died.”