Ballymurphy victims’ families to receive damages…

The Ministry of Defense has settled several civil claims from families of Ballymurphy Massacre victims. The amounts have not been disclosed.

From the BBC:

The settlement covers nine of the 10 killed. Last year an inquest found the victims were “entirely innocent”.

The judge said the inquest findings made the conclusion of the civil actions “easier” to reach.

At the High Court in Belfast on Monday, Mr Justice Humphreys said that given the “arduous nature” of the inquest, it was “the best thing” that the claims were settled without further hearings.

Civil actions were brought against the Ministry of Defence and chief constable of the PSNI, claiming damages for negligence and misfeasance in public office.

But confidential settlements were announced in actions relating to the deaths of Fr Hugh Mullan, Francis Quinn, Joan Connolly, Noel Phillips, Daniel Teggart, Edward Doherty, Joseph Corr, John Laverty and Joseph Murphy.

Claims against the chief constable are to be discontinued.

Meanwhile, litigation in connection with the deaths of John McKerr and Paddy McCarthy, as well as others shot and injured by the British Army in the same incidents, is ongoing.

The victim’s issue is highly complex, and a lot has been written about it on Slugger over the years. Different families what different things. Some want compensation, some want apologies, some want information, and some want prosecutions. So far, it has not been possible to find a solution that satisfies all victims, but is this another case of perfect being the enemy of the good?

Cash payments were controversial when Eames Bradley first proposed them but is it time to give it another try? Personally, I am disgusted at the amount of money paid out to Lawyers and Barristers over the years, with very little money ever making its way to victims families.

I get that some victims’ families are unhappy at being ‘paid off’, but I think we need to be asking them what they want. For the percentage who want compensation, they should be given it, if a family does not want compensation, that is ok too.

And for those who want an apology and recognition that their loved one was innocent, is that such a big ask?

The victims’ issue is a stain on our souls. They have waited far too long. We may not be able to satisfy them all, but that should not stop us from trying our best to help most of them.

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