Presented in association with
The Greater Glasgow branch of Hope not Hate
he Ballymurphy Massacre was a series of incidents involving the killing of eleven civilians by the 1st Battalion, Parachute Regiment of the British Army in Ballymurphy, Belfast, Northern Ireland. The killings happened between 9 and 11 August 1971, during Operation Demetrius. The shootings have also been called Belfast Bloody Sunday, a reference to another massacre of civilians by the same battalion a few months later.
The Northern Ireland Troubles had been ongoing for two years, and Belfast was particularly affected by political and sectarian violence. The British Army had been deployed in Northern Ireland in 1969, as events had gone beyond the control of the Royal Ulster Constabulary.
On the morning of Monday 9 August 1971, the security forces launched Operation Demetrius. The plan was to arrest and intern anyone suspected of being a member of the Provisional Irish Republican Army. The unit selected for this operation was the Parachute Regiment—the same regiment later responsible for the Bloody Sunday killings in Derry on 30 January 1972. Members of the Parachute Regiment stated that, as they entered the Ballymurphy area, they were shot at by republicans and returned fire.