Two men shot and wounded by British soldiers at Ballymurphy in 1971 suffered “considerable”, undisclosed damage

Two men shot and wounded by British soldiers more than 50 years ago in Ballymurphy, west of Belfast, are said to have sustained “significant” damage for an unknown amount, it was announced today.

The confidential payouts are part of High Court settlements reached by Bobby Clarke and Joseph Millen in their claims against the Ministry of Defense (MoD).

In August 1971, ten people were killed during three days of shooting in the neighborhood.

The shootings became known as the Ballymurphy Massacre.

Members of the Parachute Regiment moved to the area in an operation launched after internment was introduced in Northern Ireland.

The victims included a priest who tried to help one of the wounded and a mother of eight. Another man later died of heart failure.

In 2021, an investigation found the victims were completely innocent of any wrongdoing.

The coroner, now Lady Chief Justice Dame Siobhan Keegan, ruled that the soldiers’ use of force was unjustified.

Lawyers for the bereaved and injured in the massacre filed civil suits over the shooting, alleging negligence and abuse of office.

Relatives of nine of those who died have already claimed compensation in their claims against the Ministry of Defense.

It was confirmed in court today that similar confidential settlements were reached in lawsuits brought by Mr. Clarke and Mr. Millen.

Mr Clarke, now 89, was shot and injured while helping neighbors and children escape a Loyalist attack on homes in Springfield Park on August 9, 1971.

He received last rites from Father Hugh Mullan as he lay on the barren ground and later witnessed the fatal shooting of the priest and another victim, Frank Quinn, by British soldiers.

Mr Millen was shot in the back near Springfield Park while trying to dodge the gunfire that same day.

He was transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital and underwent emergency surgery.

The Department of Defense is paying attorneys’ fees for both plaintiffs in the settlements.

Mr Judge Humphreys has been advised that related claims against the PSNI Chief Constable are to be dropped.

Congratulating all sides on reaching resolutions, the judge said, “I know that a long time has passed since the events leading up to these lawsuits, which does not make things any easier for the parties.”

Outside the court, Padraig O Muirigh of O Muirigh Solicitors, representing Mr Clarke and Mr Millen, said: “The confidential nature of the settlement prevents me from disclosing the settlement figure.

“But I can confirm that the number is considerable and that our customers are satisfied with it

outcome of this litigation.”

With other Ballymurphy proceedings afoot, he insisted similar cases must be advanced through investigative and civil proceedings.

Mr O Muirigh added: “These robust court cases have provided a great deal of information about what happened to the families who lost loved ones and those who were seriously injured at the hands of the British Army.” Two men shot and wounded by British soldiers at Ballymurphy in 1971 suffered “considerable”, undisclosed damage

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