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13 May 2021

Ballymurphy family say Johnson ‘does not care’ about people in Northern Ireland

13 May 2021

The daughter of a Ballymurphy victim has said Boris Johnson “does not care” about people in Northern Ireland.

Families of those who were killed in 1971 reacted angrily on Thursday after the Government delivered an apology for the deaths of 10 innocent civilians in Belfast 50 years ago. The relatives said the statement should have been delivered by the Prime Minister.

Briege Voyle, whose mother was shot dead by a soldier, said: “To be honest with you I feel very upset, because I feel that for 50 years we have waited for this day, and for them to treat us like second class citizens.

“Only for the press keeping us informed about what was going on, that was how I found out there was to be an apology.

My mummy was shot in broad daylight

“Why could Boris not do it, why could he not? It won’t bring my mummy back but at least you would have felt that you were being respected.

“One thing that annoyed me, they didn’t mention an investigation. Now we have to start again to try and find out why our loved ones were murdered. Why? They were innocent; my mummy was shot in broad daylight.

“We need the police now to take on this investigation, but we also need the MoD (Ministry of Defence) to hand over the information that they have – they have records from World War One and World War Two but for us in Belfast they have nothing, nothing can be found.

“I would only like to meet Boris Johnson when he is coming to tell me why a soldier murdered my mummy, and altogether 10 innocent people. Then I will genuinely sit down with Boris Johnson and I will listen to what he has to say.

“And this business of this amnesty for soldiers; the thing is, they have lived their lives – for 50 years I have lived without my mummy, my sisters and brothers have lived without her.

“Who had a right to do that to us? We were entitled to have a life with a mummy and a daddy.”

She responded to Brandon Lewis calling the Ballymurphy deaths “terrible errors”.

Ballymurphy inquest (PA Wire)

“They were not terrible errors, they were given the green light, just shoot anything you see. We need an investigation and the police need to do the job they should have done in 1971.

“I am saying to you now Boris, we need an investigation to find out why someone took it upon themselves to murder our loved ones on three days in Ballymurphy. You need to put the plan in motion for that to be done and it is the police who need to do it.”

Asked how she would feel now about an apology coming directly from the Prime Minister, Ms Voyle said: “Now, I wouldn’t think too much of it because realistically he is only being told what to say, he doesn’t care about the people in the north of Ireland, we are just numbers.”

John Teggart, whose father was killed at Ballymurphy, said the families expected the apology to come from the Prime Minister.

“We had Brandon Lewis on representing the British Government, without contacting us, without anything from Boris Johnson.

“Brandon Lewis is the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, we welcome his statement today as he is supposed to represent all in the north, but the right thing to do would be for it to come from the head of state, Boris Johnson.

“We’ll not be rushing him, just whenever he is ready he can come and speak to the families.

“This has annoyed the families, it has taken away our moment.”

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