Danny O’Connell, National President of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, traveled to Belfast to meet the Springhill Massacre families, at the site where a priest, Fr. Noel Fitzpatrick, Patrick Butler, three teenagers, Margaret Gargan, John Dougal and David McCafferty were murdered by British Army snipers on July 9th 1972. He told victims’ relatives he was there to stand with the Springhill Massacre families and give a pledge to them and all victims’ relatives who have been fighting for legacy truth that he, and the powerful Irish American AOH organization which he heads would continue to stand behind legacy victims’ families in their battle for justice. The meeting was arranged by Relatives for Justice.

AOH National President Danny O’Connell said

The Springhill Massacre families have been fighting for an inquest for just under 50 years. They have no doubt that an inquest would prove that on July 9, 1972, 5 people including a priest, three teenagers a father of six children were deliberately gunned down by British snipers and then smeared to justify their murder. Britain’s answer is to deny families inquests or any genuine hope of justice with a new amnesty bill designed to whitewash British versions of hundreds of Troubles murders.


I was given a full briefing and saw the locations of the killings with family members. I will report back to our membership across the United States, and we will bring this information to our elected representatives.


Today’s visit follows a series of meetings which I held this week with Irish government officials including Leo Varadkar and spoke of AOH American initiatives for all of those fighting for legacy justice. We had a 50 American delegation meet these families in April and spearheaded the passage of House Resolution 888 in Congress which opposed British Amnesty plans.


Victims’ relatives are entitled to get the truth about the killings of their loved ones. These families are never giving up. I am standing with them today to say the AOH and indeed Irish America will stand with them in their long battle to get that truth and justice.