Downing Street said in a statement on Wednesday evening that UK prime minister, Boris Johnson had “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” during a call with Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill earlier that day.
Mr Johnson said the conclusions of the inquests into the deaths, which were published on Tuesday, were “deeply sad” and “tragic” and restated the UK government’s intention to “deliver a way forward in Northern Ireland that focuses on reconciliation, delivers for victims of the Troubles and ends the cycle of reinvestigations,” the spokesman said.
However, Relatives of the 10 people killed in Ballymurphy in west Belfast in 1971, have rejected the apology from the UK prime minister to the North’s First and Deputy First Minister. Carmel Quinn, whose brother John Laverty was among the victims. Said “It means absolutely nothing, because he didn’t come to us “If an apology is to mean anything, it must be delivered to the families.” John Teggart, whose father Daniel was killed, told BBC Radio Ulster it was an “insult” that an apology had been delivered to third parties.
On previous occasions Prime Ministers have delivered such apologies to the House of Parliament or on National television.