The Springhill/Westrock Massacre which took place in July of 1972 in Belfast, the Miami Showband Massacre which occurred in July of 1975 in Co. Down, and other murders were carried out by the British armed forces in the North.  All are invited to the seminar which will be aired live on YouTube.

Ancient Order of Hibernians Freedom for All-Ireland Chairman Martin Galvin said, “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.” 

Galvin added, "On July 9, 1972, British troopers following a ceasefire and formal peace talks with Republicans responded by murdering five people including Catholic priest Father 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. 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. 

Galvin concluded, “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 watch the webinar on Saturday, July 17 at 11 am EST / 4 pm Irish time, you can watch below on the AOH's YouTube or register by visiting Zoom here.

*This column first appeared in the July 17 edition of the weekly Irish Voice newspaper, sister publication to IrishCentral.