11 February 2006

Relatives issue demand for justice at commemoration of New Lodge Six


Relatives of the New Lodge Six have demanded that the British government come clean about the 1973 killings following a rally that was held to mark the 33rd anniversary of the killings.
On the night of Saturday February 3, 1973, six men from the New Lodge area were shot dead and one wounded by the British army. But the circumstances were never investigated. The British army claimed that six gunmen had been killed in a gun battle with its troops, but the local community and the families involved have always rejected this. An investigation into the killings was carried out by the community in 2003 during which evidence was gathered that discredited the claims of the MoD.
John Loughran, whose uncle John was one of those killed, said the families deserved to hear the truth about what happened that night.
“We have presented our version of what happened and the British government is yet to acknowledge even receiving this. What message does that send to the families?
“We stand here in the knowledge that we are right and that we are joined in solidarity by people across this island who also yearn for truth and justice.
“To date no British soldier or British politician has been brought to book for the murders of Jim McCann, Jim Sloan, Tony ‘TC’ Campbell, Brendan Maguire, John Loughran or Ambrose Hardy.
“If they are serious about the future then they must deal with the impunity afforded to their state forces. Legislation designed to close down avenues for families to pursue truth and justice cannot succeed,” he said.
Speaking at the commemoration, held on Friday last, Sinn Féin MLA Cathy Stanton said the killings were a mirror image of the events of Bloody Sunday.
“This was a planned operation to murder and maim and was in keeping with British policy at that time. In the period 1969 to 1973 the British state had killed 188 people and what happened here in the New Lodge was part of that pattern.
“What compounded the grief was that they tried to place the guilt on those who were without guilt. That is, the men they murdered and the families, they ruined. All we have to do to understand this pattern is understand Bloody Sunday in Derry when the world was told these men were nail bombers.”
Cathy Stanton said the families deserved justice.
“The families must be supported in their campaign if we are to realise the type of change that is needed to build a new society.
If the British government is genuinely interested in conflict resolution then they must deliver on the family’s demands for truth and justice.”

Journalist:: Evan Short

Comments: Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?