A gable wall highlighting the 1972 Springhill-Westrock Massacre
By Irish Echo Staff
with the British government moving towards closing off prosecutorial action against former British soldiers involved in some of the most controversial Troubles era shootings the Ancient Order of Hibernians is this week organizing an "emergency" webinar focusing in particular on one of those shootings, the Springhill Massacre of July, 1972.
The webinar will also cover the Miami Showband murders and other murders linked to allegations of state collusion.
And in this context the AOH has issued a statement by National Freedom for All Ireland Chairman, Martin Galvin.
Said Galvin: “With Britain holding talks ahead of new legacy laws, victims’ relatives and survivors will make an emergency appeal for American help to stop Britain from closing down their decades’ long fight for justice.
"Jacqueline Butler, daughter of a Springhill Massacre victim, Steven Travers a survivor of the Miami Showband Massacre, and Martin Mallon, whose aunt Roseann Mallon was one of 17 collusion murder victims killed with the same weapons, will make an emergency appeal for American help.
"The live webinar broadcast, hosted by the Ancient Order of Hibernians, will be held this Saturday, July 17 at 11 a.m. Eastern Time, 4 p.m. Irish time."
Galvin continued: "On July 9th 1972, British troops followed a ceasefire and formal peace talks with Republicans by murdering five people including Catholic priest Fr. Noel Fitzpatrick, Paul Butler, Margaret Gargan 13, John Dougal 16, and David McCafferty 16, in the Springhill-Westrock Massacre. Jacqueline Butler, the daughter of Paul Butler, will appeal for American help in their battle for truth 49 years later.
“Stephen Travers was a member of the Miami Showband returning from a performance when they were flagged by what seemed a routine British UDR checkpoint near Newry.
"They were ordered to stand by the road with their hands on their heads, while the uniformed men checked their van. Two of the uniformed men –actual members of Britain’s Ulster Defense Regiment – were planting a bomb under the driver’s seat when it exploded, killing both of them. The others opened fire, killing bandsmen Fran O’Toole, Brian McCoy, and Tony Geraghty.
"Stephen Travers will explain why he is suing the British Ministry of Defense and Constabulary Chief Constable to get the truth about British state involvement.
“Martin Mallon, a well-known Republican in East Tyrone, will describe how his aunt Roseanne Mallon 76 was shot by loyalists using the same weapons used in 17 collusion murders over a six year period including American citizen, Liam Ryan. A legacy investigation into the links between all of these killings would be expected to prove crown collusion.
“These speakers are appealing to America and the AOH, because they believe that American pressure can stop Britain from closing down their chances for justice and the truth. Prominent politicians and members of Irish American organizations including the Irish American Unity Conference, Brehons, Irish Northern Aid, and Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians have been invited to join and respond."
“The Ballymurphy Massacre verdict not only held that 10 people murdered by British troops were blameless, but shows that British troops were guilty of a murder and a 50 year cover-up. Britain responded by announcing new laws to amnesty British troopers for such murders, and to close down Historical Investigations which could give the truth in hundreds of other crown force or collusion killings.
"They have convened special talks and appointed apologist Trevor Ringland as a Special Envoy to America, which victims feel will precede reneging on crucial parts of the Stormont House Agreement. Families who have been fighting for justice are appealing for Irish American help to keep their hopes for justice alive.”
To register go to https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Zdr1cjqlTjKIpydk5Em98A
The webinar will also be viewable on YouTube Live at https://youtu.be/UHK7ARh9o4U