Boris Johnson 050416 CREDIT ALAMY
Politics

Boris Johnson Apologises 'Unreservedly' Over Ballymurphy Deaths

A coroner ruled that victims were "entirely innocent" and that British Army soldiers were responsible for nine of the fatal shootings.

Boris Johnson 050416 CREDIT ALAMY

The Prime Minister has "apologised unreservedly" for the events that led to the deaths of 10 innocent civilians in Ballymurphy 50 years ago.

Boris Johnson made the apology on behalf of the UK Government during a phone call with Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill.

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

"The Prime Minister apologised unreservedly on behalf of the UK Government for the events that took place in Ballymurphy and the huge anguish that the lengthy pursuit of truth has caused the families of those killed."

Fresh inquests into the deaths involving the British Army in Ballymurphy in August 1971 concluded that the victims were "entirely innocent" and soldiers were responsible for nine of the fatal shootings.

Coroner Mrs Justice Keegan found that the use of lethal force by the Army was not justified.

She also criticised the lack of investigation into the 10th death, that of John McKerr, and said she could not definitively rule who had shot him.

A solicitor who represents the Ballymurphy families said they have instigated civil proceedings against the Ministry of Defence.

Cover image: Alamy.