Vernon Coaker – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Northern Ireland Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Vernon Coaker on 2016-02-11.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what recent representations she has had on a public inquiry into events in Ballymurphy in August 1971; and if she will make a statement.

Mrs Theresa Villiers

In October 2012, I informed the families that I agreed with my predecessor’s decision not to hold a public inquiry into the events in Ballymurphy. I explained this position when I met the families in January 2013. I considered the families’ more recent request for an independent review panel carefully. On 29 April 2014, I advised the families of my decision against instigating an independent review panel. I do not believe the balance of public interest lies in establishing an inquiry or independent review into the deaths in Ballymurphy in August 1971. I do not believe that such a review would provide answers which are not already in the public domain or covered by existing legal processes such as the inquests.

I continue to receive representations from members of the public, politicians and others seeking further investigation into the events in Ballymurphy and into various other events that occurred during the troubles.