The Ballymurphy Inquest started in earnest on 12 November 2018 in Belfast with Justice Keegan presiding. Currently, the families of those who died are providing their statements to the Coroner. It is not thought that the statements of regimental members will be taken until early in the New Year.
Over 800 members of the Regiment have been written
to by the Coroner asking them to provide statements about the events in the
Ballymurphy. The reason for the high
numbers is that, due to the lack of an accurate record, the court has written to
all those who may have been in NI during 1971.
If you received a letter from DJEP or Fieldfisher, we can be of
assistance if you get in touch. Details
are at the bottom of this update.
The Court Service Northern Ireland (CSNI,) on behalf
of the coroner, will shortly produce a list of witnesses who the coroner wishes
to hear give evidence in person at the Inquest.
Those who are selected to give evidence in person
will have their travel, accommodation and security arrangements made and funded
by the MoD. In some cases, evidence may
be allowed by video link, the Coroner has yet to make a ruling on this
matter. If witnesses attend in person,
they will be accompanied by members of the MoD staff and a member of RHQ PARA
will be available to provide pastoral and welfare assistance as required.
The MoD legal team will act on behalf of all
security force witnesses. However, if witnesses
feel that a conflict of interest exists between their legal position and that
of the MoD then other arrangement will be considered.
RHQ PARA has appointed a NI Legacy Officer whose contact details are below. Please pass these to anyone who is involved in a legacy case who has not been approached by RHQ with an offer of assistance.
If you have been affected by the current NI investigations or you know
someone who is, please contact Lt Col (Retd) Paul Rodgers NI Legacy Officer, RHQ PARA, Merville
Essex CO2 7UT Tel: Mil: 94660 7072 or Civ: 01206 817072 email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
We would like to make you aware of the following website which has been
put in place to assist veterans involved in legacy investigations and
Inquiries. Look particularly at
the section ‘Practical advice’ https://www.ukveteranslegal.co.uk.