Cars parade through Ballymurphy to cheers and applause after coroner’s ruling

The occupants of the vehicles waved white flags with the word “innocent” on them
Cars parade through Ballymurphy to cheers and applause after coroner’s ruling

One of the cavalcade of cars passing through Ballymurphy (Liam McBurney/PA)

A cavalcade of cars has passed through Ballymurphy thanking the community for its support over the past 50 years.

The convoy made its way through the streets on Tuesday evening beeping horns, hours after a coroner ruled that the 10 people killed in the west Belfast shootings involving British soldiers in Ballymurphy in August 1971 were “entirely innocent”.

The occupants of the vehicles waved white flags with the word “innocent” on them.

Briege Voyle, daughter of victim Joan Connolly, releases doves in the Ballymurphy area (Liam McBurney/PA)

Locals lined the streets cheering and clapping, and banged bin lids on the footpaths as the cars made their way past.

Banging bin lids on the streets was done during the Troubles to warn people the Army was in the area.

The cars passed by the houses of some of the victims.

The families of those killed have not been able to hold a large gathering due to Covid-19 public health restrictions.

One of the cavalcade with a white flag bearing victim, Edward Doherty’s picture and the word ‘innocent’ (Liam McBurney/PA)

Earlier there were jubilant scenes outside Belfast Coroner’s Court as the families of those shot in Ballymurphy emerged to cheers from supporters.

Mrs Justice Keegan ruled out any paramilitary involvement by any of those killed in Ballymurphy, and described them as “entirely innocent of any wrongdoing on the day in question”.

The Army was found to be responsible for nine of the 10 deaths in August 1971, which included a mother of eight and a Catholic priest.

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