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The Ballymurphy Massacre

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No soldier was ever charged with the murder of the victims at Ballymurphy.

Martin Luther King junior was the inspiration For the Northern Ireland, Civil Rights association Protests were held and they marched peacefully The unionist majority tried to stop them brutally. The campaign gathered momentum it was nineteen sixty nine The unionists issued warnings that they were crossing a line Discrimination against nationalists in Northern Ireland was rife All they wanted was equal rights and to live a peaceful life The situation deteriorated and the army were deployed The unionists were now confident with England on their side But the violence escalated against the nationalist minority The IRA surfaced to protect the nationalist community. The British introduced the controversial Internment without trial And started arresting everybody that they had on file Even those with a speeding ticket were added to their list And they used brute force against anyone that tried to resist. On the eleventh and twelfth of August in nineteen seventy one The Ballymurphy estate was targeted and a roundup had begun Six hundred British soldiers, were deployed there that day Dragged out men and boys who were then taken away. Soldiers opened fire and murdered eleven innocent people in cold blood They lied saying that they were fired on and by that statement they stood Some people who went to assist the dying, they too were shot dead A soldier found a man on the ground and shot him point blank in the head. A soldier put a gun in one man's mouth as he lay on his back In a mock execution that caused, the man a fatal heart attack Those that were murdered were unarmed and posed no threat The British army acted with impunity and a precedent was set. A shoot to kill policy was in place but this was denied The authorities were determined the truth they would hide Investigators often met a wall of silence, with contradicting lies Missing files and missing witness statements came as no surprise. Finally a verdict was reached and the coroners statement said Each and every victim at Ballymurphy was unlawfully shot dead The verdict found the victims innocent but there was bittersweet tears Because the victims families challenge to the state, had taken fifty years. A former soldier who witnessed it gave evidence, and had this to say That many of the soldiers involved were like psychopaths that day Many were on a high and determined to make their first kill In their psychopathic minds it gave them some sort of thrill. Richard Dannatt who was a former chief, of the British army Described as shameful what happened, that day at Ballymurphy He concluded that a thorough investigation should have been carried out Maybe it would have opened Pandora's box of that I've no doubt. Written 22nd January 2022.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2022




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Date: 3/29/2022 7:59:00 AM
I recently watched this on Netflix, Tom: Murder of innocents now being repeated in Ukraine. When perpetrators are not dealt justice - violence will cycle again and again. SuZ
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 3/29/2022 8:24:00 AM
Thank you very much Suz, as with all governments they close ranks and act with impunity. They always twist the truth, files go missing making it impossible to bring the culprits to justice. Its a sad world we live in. Tom
Date: 3/5/2022 11:13:00 AM
Missed this POTD, so sorry. Quite a complexx dance of history and poetry to be proud of, Belated congratulations.!!! Pangie
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 3/5/2022 11:15:00 AM
Thank you very much Pangie, a dark time for Northern Ireland, and now we see Russian scum killing innocent civilians in Ukraine. Tom
Date: 2/22/2022 5:00:00 AM
Brilliantly penned, Tom. Congrats on your well deserved honors and POTD.
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 2/22/2022 5:28:00 AM
Thank you very much Line, I hope you are keeping well. Tom
Date: 2/8/2022 5:04:00 AM
Both the narrative and the cruel reality of it all bring back memories of this shameful episode, Tom. ~ Regards // paul
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 2/8/2022 6:05:00 AM
Thank you very much Paul, it was something the British government would rather forget but the families of those murdered never gave up in their quest for justice. Shame on the British government that it took fifty years to acknowledge that what happened was wrong. Tom
Date: 2/3/2022 2:10:00 PM
Excellent heartwrenching write. I had no idea that this happened, thank you for giving it a voice. Congratulations on your POTD. HUGS
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 2/3/2022 3:02:00 PM
Thank you very much Cecilia, a year later it happened again on what became known as bloody sunday, only this time the press were there and the world got to know about it. Hope you're keeping well. Tom
Date: 2/1/2022 9:33:00 AM
Your last line says why good democrats, often, fail the better angels of their/ our human nature. " Psychopaths that day," is a recurrent diagnosis of "Army" restoring "peace of politicians " like every colonial massacre, eg. Punjab, and Trinidad dad, October 1884, when Indian labor migrants were shot on the streets. Why? They were celebrating a no Christian festival. Shalom forgive!?
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 2/1/2022 10:22:00 AM
Thank you very much Anil, throughout time.as you say there has been many similar atrocities carried out against defenceless civilians, how men can carry out atrocities against innocent civilians is beyond me, how do they sleep at night, I couldn't. Tom
Date: 1/29/2022 9:41:00 PM
wow what a horrible thing. I never even heard of it before. Thanks for sharing and Congrats on the POTD i see you got.
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/30/2022 1:05:00 AM
Thank you very much Andrea, it took the families of the murdered victims 50 years to get an apology. The British government should hang its head in shame. Tom
Date: 1/29/2022 7:33:00 PM
Tom, in this superb POTD, you have told a story of heroism, lives lost for that heroism, and how evil people wield their power, murder--then LIE!
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/30/2022 3:35:00 AM
Thank you very much Janice, it was a shameful act on behalf of the British government. Tom
Date: 1/29/2022 11:24:00 AM
WOW my friend, what a sad story but told so well. Congratulations on this gem being chosen as POTD, truly wonderful poetry, Blessings, Jennifer.
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/29/2022 12:21:00 PM
Thank you very much Jennifer, it was a heinous crime by some rogue elements in the British army. Hope you're keeping well. Tom
Date: 1/28/2022 2:02:00 PM
Congratulations on POTD. A fine historical account in poetic form. Best wishes to you and yours for 2022.
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/28/2022 2:29:00 PM
Thank you very much W. A., a tragic event, shame on the British government for not taking action against the murderers. Tom
Date: 1/27/2022 7:44:00 AM
Tom , So sobering this history . You have expressed it so well here in heart wrenching detail . Thank you for making us aware of this tragedy and the hungriness of the killers of that day ! Shameful and so unfair . Belated congratulations on POTD !! Susan :)
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/27/2022 8:02:00 AM
Thank you very much for your congrats Susan, I hate injustice of any kind and this was a shameful injustice for those innocent people going about their daily business, the denials, lies and cover ups you wouldn't believe. Tom
Date: 1/26/2022 3:00:00 PM
How horrible this statement: Many were on a high and determined to make their first kill. Tom, you are always on the top of your game. Congratulations on POTD!
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/26/2022 11:26:00 PM
Thank you very much for your congrats Kim, it came out that they were put of control, they should have been hung for war crimes. Tom
Date: 1/26/2022 6:11:00 AM
A really sad tale that reminds one of all the injustice that happens in this world, Tom, well written, at least you write about them and let us know:) congrats on your POTD:)
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/26/2022 7:40:00 AM
Thank you very much Jo, many countries have been involved in similar atrocities and they always try and cover them up, denials and cover ups are commonplace. Tom
Date: 1/25/2022 12:27:00 PM
dropping back with many congrats on a very well deserved POTD:-) hugs Jan xx
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/25/2022 12:30:00 PM
Thank you very much Jan, another dark episode in Northern Irelands history. Tom
Date: 1/25/2022 8:27:00 AM
I've been away and you've been busy writing another epic. Well done and congratulations on another POTD, Tom~
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/25/2022 9:11:00 AM
Thank you very much for your congrats Jenna and welcome back. I thought you might have been having a break. Hope you're keeping well. Tom
Date: 1/25/2022 4:26:00 AM
I never knew about this heinous crime. So sad. I don't know what happens to people. You honor those who died needlessly with this write, Tom. I see it got POTD. It is surely worthy. Thanks for your visit to my page.
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/25/2022 4:51:00 AM
Thank you very much Eillen, the British government tried to play it down, they lied and tried to make out they were under attack which was of course a lie. It was state sponsored murder on behalf of the British government. Tom
Date: 1/25/2022 3:55:00 AM
Outstanding, Tom. I feel like I am back at school listening to my history teacher on so many of your writes. Honesty, I hated history class back in the day. But I grew to love it. Congratulations on POTD! -Charlie
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/25/2022 4:48:00 AM
Thank you very much Charlie, it's only in recent years that I too have started reading it. Terrible injustices catch my eye like what I write about in this poem. I want to tell the world so that they're not forgotten. Tom
Date: 1/25/2022 2:05:00 AM
You render so valuable knowledge in a so eloquent verses that rhyme with a great satisfaction and pleasure reading a fine poetry! Your great work truly deserving the acknowledgement and recognition! Congratulations, Tom, on your POTD honour! I'm so much pleased to be here to read, highly appreciate and warmly congratulate.. My deepest regards and blessings.
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/25/2022 2:24:00 AM
Thank you very much Besma, I get angry when I read of such atrocities being carried out and the events covered up by those in authority. The soldiers involved were out of control and should have been court marshalled. Hope you're well. Tom
Date: 1/25/2022 1:45:00 AM
Such a descriptive write about a tragic event in history that happened around 50 years ago in Ballymurphy. Its a shame isn't it that those psychopathic soldiers considered killing innocent people as a thrill?. Good to know that at least after 50 years, the British Government apologized. Thank you for sharing this informative piece of poem that you narrated excellently Tom, for many of us are not aware of such an incident. A belated hearty congratulations on your POTD honor. God bless ~ Ani
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/25/2022 2:20:00 AM
Thank you very much Ani, it was mass murder and it angers me that the perpetrators got away with it, hiding behind the veil of the British government who have innocent blood on their hands. Hope you're keeping well. Tom
Date: 1/25/2022 1:10:00 AM
Such tragedy you have conveyed in this well written expressive poem Tom. Congratulations on having it honored for POTD. Blessings xxoo
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/25/2022 1:18:00 AM
Thank you very much for your congrats Connie, I hope you are well.. Tom
Date: 1/24/2022 9:59:00 PM
I had no idea this had even happened. Thank you for bringing it to light again. There is evil everywhere. I think I can say with cell phones and CCTV these atrocities are happening less often.
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/24/2022 11:47:00 PM
Thank you very much Timothy, you're right, back then with no cell phones or cctv people could get away with anything but now there is firm evidence on film. A year later it happened again but the press were there and it sent shock waves around the world. Tom
Date: 1/24/2022 6:36:00 PM
"Soldiers opened fire and murdered eleven innocent people in cold blood" Oh my, such a tragedy. Violence is never the answer. Congratulations Tom, on Poem of the Day. My best to you. Hugs, Brandy
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/25/2022 12:22:00 AM
Thank you very much Brandy, the soldiers claimed they were fired on but no evidence was found to support that, one soldier claimed he found bullets on one of the victims but this was found to be a lie. The families never gave up and it was only last year the British government issued an apology for the events at Ballymurphy, the term I would have used is the mass murder of innocents. Tom
Date: 1/24/2022 6:04:00 PM
Tom, you are a virtuoso of converting historic events into poetic accounts, and never more so than when a terrible injustice has been committed. I commend you for spotlighting an atrocity that was covered up for so many years, indeed your pen is mightier than the sword. Congratulations for your POTD and for showing us what poetry is capable of achieving.
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/25/2022 12:11:00 AM
Thank you very much John, in any conflict every soldier has the right to defend himself if he comes under attack but these were innocent people going about their daily business and who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, a woman and a Catholic priest went to aid those who were lying on the ground and they too were gunned down in cold blood. Sadly back then cameras on phones didn't exist and there was only witness statements to go on and the British army got away with it, they have a terrible track record and are no better than the Nazis in my opinion, it is not the first time that they've been involved in massacres, India, Greece, Israel, China, South Africa, Kenya and of course Ireland. Tom
Date: 1/24/2022 5:44:00 PM
Your mighty pen presents evidence of a dastardly and most wicked example of murdering of innocent people. I was a very young man back then, never heard anything at all about any of this very sad and tragic event. Your creation gives a powerful voice about the evil that was done my friend. Congratulations on your creation being award POTD! God bless....
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/24/2022 11:52:00 PM
Thank you very much Robert, it was another dark stain on the British army who acted with impunity. The families of the innocent campaigned for fifty years to get justice. They were all found to be innocent victims but as is usually the case no one was ever charged with their murders. Tom
Date: 1/24/2022 5:07:00 PM
Harrowingly awful! Words cannot begin to describe the depth to the sadness of this.... I applaud your penning of this event Tom, and congratulations on POTD. Angie
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/24/2022 11:56:00 PM
Thank you very much Angela, many soldiers who serve in conflicts around the world do so honourably but there's always a few rogue elements in the ranks. A year later it happened again on what's become known as bloody sunday. It wasn't until a few years ago that David Cameron issued an apology but as is usually the case no one was charged with any wrongdoing. Tom
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