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Ballymurphy killings inquest opens in Belfast

14 November 2018

Brenda Campbell QC

An inquest has opened into the deaths of 10 people shot dead during a British Army operation in west Belfast 47 years ago. Brenda Campbell QC of the Garden Court Chambers Civil Liberties Team is representing the families of Father Hugh Mullan, 38, and Francis Quinn, 19, who were shot dead in August 1971.

Fr Mullan had gone to the aid of a wounded man when he was shot. Witnesses recall him holding a white cloth above his head. Frank Quinn was shot a few metres away from Fr Mullan, having gone to assist with the casualties.

Over the course of three days, eyewitnesses say members of the British Parachute Regiment shot dead 10 people. The incident took place at the start of internment in Belfast.

Brenda Campbell QC is instructed by Pádraig Ó Muirigh of Ó Muirigh Solicitors

Solicitor Pádraig Ó Muirigh, who represents some of the families, said:

“Today, 47 years after these families lost their loved ones, 46 years after the original inquest, seven years after the direction for a new inquest, we are finally here.

It’s a tribute to the adversity and resilience of these brave families, so I want to commend them through all the difficult days.

Hopefully this is a new start of a process to find out what happened to their loved ones.

Over the next few months the court will examine the evidence and we are very confident that their loved ones’ innocence will be clear and their names will be cleared, finally.”

The inquest is taking place before presiding coroner Ms Justice Siobhan Keegan in Belfast and has been widely covered in the media including the Irish News, the BBC and the Guardian.

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