Johnson apologises ‘unreservedly’ for ’71 attack in N. Ireland

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On Wednesday, Johnson's spokesperson released a statement following a call between the prime minister and Northern Ireland's first and deputy first ministers.

"There is no doubt that what happened on those bad few days in Ballymurphy also fuelled further violence and escalation, particularly in the early years of the Troubles".

The families of the victims and supporters waving white flags with the words "innocent" on them, in Ballymurphy, just hours after a coroner ruled that the 10 people killed in the west Belfast shootings involving British soldiers in Ballymurphy in August 1971 were entirely innocent.

John Teggart, whose father was killed at Ballymurphy, said the government's public apology should have come from Johnson.

Brandon Lewis continued: "The Government profoundly regrets and is truly sorry for these events, and how investigations after these awful events were handled, and the additional pain that the families have had to endure in their fight to clear the names of their loved ones since they began their campaign nearly five decades ago".

I want to acknowledge the bad hurt that has been caused to the families of Francis Quinn, Father Hugh Mullan, Noel Phillips, Joan Connolly, Daniel Teggart, Joseph Murphy, Edward Doherty, John Laverty, Joseph Corr, and John McKerr.

Speaking in Westminster on Tuesday after the findings of an inquest which stated that all 10 Ballymurphy victims were innocent was announced, Eastwood said that the killings were "inhumane".

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Labour MP Conor McGinn said that the "gravitas" of the incident and apology required the presence of the Prime Minister in the Commons today. "It actually ruined the moment of what we have campaigned for all these years".

This evening, he said it was an "insult to the families" that Mr Johnson's apology came in a conversation with others and called on him to make a public apology.

"He said the conclusions of the Ballymurphy Inquest, published yesterday, were deeply sad and that the events of August 1971 were tragic".

Brandon Lewis has said the British Government is "truly sorry" for the events in Ballymurphy 50 years ago in which 10 innocent people were killed.

The coroner's indictment of the Army's actions and efforts to depict most of the dead as IRA members led to agreement that a significant injustice had been committed. That infuriated relatives of the Ballymurphy dead, many of whom want soldiers who fired the fatal shots to be prosecuted and their commanders - among them the army's former top figure, General Michael Jackson - to be stripped of honors.

There was not enough evidence to say whether the army were responsible for the death of one the victims, John James McKerr, who was indiscriminately shot going to and from work.

A solicitor who represents the victims' families has confirmed they have instigated civil proceedings against the Ministry of Defence.

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