Bishop backs call for inquiry into Ballymurphy massacre
GOVERNMENT and society must confront past wrongs in the North if the region is to look to a better future, a senior Catholic Church leader warned yesterday.
Bishop of Down and Connor Noel Treanor was speaking as he publicly backed a campaign for an inquiry into the British army killings of 11 people in west Belfast almost 40 years ago.
Young Catholic priest Hugh Mullan was among those shot dead by soldiers in the so-called Ballymurphy massacre in August 1971.
Dr Treanor met and prayed with bereaved relatives yesterday afternoon at the scene of the shootings before presenting them with a previously undisclosed report compiled by the church at the time of the killings.
The shootings took place over a three-day period after the army entered the republican Ballymurphy area to round up suspected paramilitaries after the Northern Ireland government introduced the controversial policy of internment without trial.
Relatives' calls for an internationally-chaired independent investigation have intensified since the publication in June of the Saville Report on Bloody Sunday.
Some of the soldiers involved in that notorious incident in Derry had been in Ballymurphy six months earlier.