Monday, 29 August 2011


Joseph (Josie) Murphy was born on the 29th of January 1929. He was one of eight children. Roseanne, his mother had two children, James and Agnes, from her first marriage but tragically her first husband was killed during the First World War. Roseanne then met and married her second husband Thomas Murphy, Joseph’s father. Roseanne and Thomas had six children, two sons and four daughters - Leo, Brigid, Kathleen, Francis, Patsy and Joseph. The family lived in the ‘Pound Lonely’ off the Falls Road in Belfast.

As a young boy Josie attended St Comgall’s primary school, and discovered a new hobby, boxing. As he grew up, this became more than just a hobby and he ended up a very keen amateur boxer, who fought for the local boxing club.

As a young man he discovered a new love, her name was Mary McGuinness, and she soon became the love of his life. Josie and Mary married on the 26th of December 1952. Two years later they discovered that they would soon become parents as Mary was expecting their first child. In the summer of 1955, August 22nd 1955 to be exact Josie and Mary became proud parents of not one but two beautiful sons. Mary had given birth to twins James and Thomas. This was the begining of a family of twelve children. In April 1957 their first daughter Rose-Anne was born. Just over two years later they became parents for the fourth time when Mary gave birth to their second daughter Margaret. After Margaret in July 1960 came Patricia. Mary then brought another son into the world but unfortunately baby Joseph was a stillborn baby. For the young couple it was to be a difficult time as, just a few short months later in November of 1961, not long after discovering Mary was pregnant again, their daughter Patricia died of a childhood illness at the tender age of 16 months old. In June 1962 Josie and Mary were blessed with another son, who they decided to name Joseph. 11 months later in May 1963, came Janet. Followed just over a year later in August 1964 by Mary Catherine. Just days before christmas in the December of 1965 Josie craddled his daughter Angela. In March 1970 Josie and Mary finished their family as they started it, with twins boys Hugh and Michael, but their joy was shortlived. Tragedy again hit the family when baby Micheal died at only a few hours old.

While Josie and Mary, over the years, were adding to their ever expanding family they experienced life in many different homes in places rangeing from the Shore Road, York Street and Nile Street to Upper Library Street and eventually their dream home in Ballymurphy in 1965. They moved into a three bedroom house with their own kitchen and even an inside bathroom
Born 10-Oct-1926 Murdered 09-Aug -1971

Daniel Teggart born 10th October 1926 the first child of Daniel and Alice Teggart. Danny, as he was known, had seven brothers and three sisters. Born in the Markets area of Belfast his parent’s first house was 29 Abercorn Street North Lower Falls. He attended St Peter’s School in Raglan Street. He left school at the age of fourteen, which was common in the 1940s, times were hard and work was very scarce. There were two adults and eleven children living in a two up two down house. Danny’s first job was in Browns Butcher’s in Donegal Pass in Belfast City Centre. He moved after that to Little and Mc Clair packaging company making paper bags. He met his wife Belle at the Clonard picture house, she was seventeen, he was eighteen. Bella Clark daughter of James and Margaret Clark of 51 Ebor Street in the Donegal Road area, she had five sisters and one brother. They courted for the next two years going to the pictures and taking long walks. Sometimes in the summer evening they would take a trek up the Black Mountain to the Hatchet Field where there was a wonderful view of the city all the way down to Belfast Lough. Two years later at the age of nineteen & twenty they married in Saint John’s church on the Falls Road at 7:30am morning mass on 17th January 1947 the priest was Fr Smith, the bridesmaid was Danny’s sister Kitty with her boyfriend Paddy Brennan as best man. It wasn’t a big wedding, or expensive for that matter, it was Danny’s mother who prepared the breakfast reception at 29 Abercorn Street North and everybody chipped in to make the day go off well

Monday, 25 July 2011

Joan Connolly

Joan’s Death
On August 9th 1971 "Internment without Trial" was introduced by the British Government in Northern Ireland. Men and women, young and old, were arrested and jailed without trial or reason. This was a date that would change the lives of Joan’s family forever. On this August evening the Parachute regiment of the British Army murdered Joan, a 45 year old mother of eight.
Joan was shot as she left her place of safety and went to the aid of a young boy (Noel Phillips) who was shot and wounded by the same regiment. Joan was shot several times in the head and body, with injuries so severe that part of her face was blown off. Joan's autopsy report indicates that Joan bled to death. Eye witnesses of the events claim Joan was blatantly refused emergency medical attention, even as she cried out for help.
The murder of Joan, the only woman shot in Ballymurphy during one of the trouble's worse events, left husband Denis without a wife and left eight children without a mother. The extent of Joan’s injuries was so horrific that Denis struggled to identify her body; he finally did on his third attempt aided only by Joan's red hair.
Joan’s family were in turmoil, not knowing what to do having suddenly lost their wife and mother. Denis, shocked by the situation and panicked by the on going trouble, sent his young daughters Denise (with baby Christopher), Briege, Joan, Maura and Irene to his family in the south of Ireland. Initially they had to endure a stay in a refugee camp, and this is where, having stumbled across the 12o'clock news one evening, Briege and Denise were to find out their mother was dead and had been buried. Both girls, shocked and stunned, only had each other for comfort as they mourned their mother’s death. Joan was branded an IRA woman, a claim that was never true and as a result, her death was not investigated properly.

Noel Phillips

Noel Phillips lived in Whitecliff Parade in the Ballymurphy area with his family. On the 9th August 1971 Noel and his friend Tommy Morgan left their homes to walk to the Henry Taggart Army base near Springfield Park to see what was happening.There was rioting throughout the day and it was now around 7:30pm. Whilst standing facing The Henry Taggart Army base, a number of soldiers from the Parachute Regiment came running out with their guns on there hips and opened fire.
Everybody ran for their lives. Noel ran down into the field in front of the Henry Taggart Army base. Noel was shot and dropped to the ground. Sometime later an army vehicle entered the field and two soldiers got out. Both soliders were armed, one with an SLR Rifle and the other with a 9mm browning high power pistol. Eye witnesses watched in horror as the soldier with the pistol opened fire on Noel as he lay on the ground.Noel's autopsy report found that Noel had been shot once behind each ear - a well known soldier's execution

Frank Quinn

Frank Quinn was born on the 21st April 1952 at 2 Coates Place in the Divis Street area of West Belfast. He was baptised in St Mary’s Church, Chapel Lane and went to Christian Brother’s Primary School in Divis Street. Frank was one of six children to Tommy and Grace. Frank had three sisters; Irene, Annette and Marion and two brothers; Liam and Pat.
Having moved to the Ravenhill Road with his family, Frank attended St Augustine's School. To say that he attended the school might be slightly overstated as Frank and his best friend Charlie McReynolds would often go mitching. As a result, the truant officer would call at the family home and Frank would find himself in big trouble with his da.
Frank had many friends and loved life, he was a practical joker and full of fun. He was a keen supporter of Glasgow Celtic and Everton. He fancied himself as a good Mouth Organ Player, forever playing his favourite tune - The Red River Valley.

Frank met Ann when they were young. Ann was from the Pound Loney area of West Belfast. They were married when they were both 17 in St Peter’s Catherdal. Their daughter Angela was born soon after. Frank, Ann and Angela settled in to family life. After living in a few houses they were offered a flat in Moyard. With a new home and their second child on the way, the young family were blissfully happy.
Tragedy struck on the 9th August 1971. Frank went to the aid of Father Hugh Mullan, a local neighbour and Priest who had been shot. In his attempts to help, Frank was fatally shot by a solider from the British Army's Parachute Regiment.
Such a tradegy left Frank's family devastated. His parent's lives were never to be the same, their hearts were broken. As Frank's parents lived in a mixed religion community and with the sectarian attitudes of his parent's neighbours, Frank was waked in the Divis area of West Belfast. As his wake took place, a gun battle raged outside the window. For their own safety, mouners at the wake moved back from the wndows, Frank's mother never left his side determined that her son would not be left on his own.
As a result of the sectarian abuse, Frank's parent had to leave their home on the Ravenhill Road and move across the city to the New Lodge.

Ann had to carry on without her husband. Ann gave birth to a second daughter, Frances, shortly after his husband's death. Frank never got to meet Frances and Frances had to grow up without her father. Struggling with her own grieve, Ann raised two beautiful daughters on her own. Frank missed out on all of this. He missed out on walking his daughters down the aisle. He never got to watch as his family grew and had their own children. Frank has four grandchildren; Joseph, Ryan, Grace and Adam.
Frank’s family will never forget him. There is not a day goes by that they don’t think of him. Frank was a good son and kind brother, a loving husband and a devoted father.

FR, Hugh

Father Hugh Mullan, a curate from Corpus Christi chapel, was killed as he went to the aid of his neighbour Bobby Clarke. Bobby was shot in the back as he tried to help children out of Springmartin as it came under attack from loyalist mobs.
Before entering the field in an attempt to help Bobby Clarke, Father Mullan telephoned the Henry Taggart Army base to explain that he was going to help the wounded man. Father Mullan entered the field waving a white babygrow.

Father Mullan was shot in the back as he attempted to leave the field, having anointed Bobby Clarke. The fatal shot came from a soldier in the British Army's Parachute regiment, who was situated at the top of flats in Springmartin. Eye witnesses said Father Mullan could be heard praying, as he lay dying where he had been shot, for some time after.

Father Mullan had spent most of the day leading up to his death, ensuring that the Catholic community in Springfield Park and New Barnsley did not retaliate to provocation from loyalists in the neighbouring Springmartin estate.
Both Father Mullan and Father Felix McGuckin, an other local parish priest, had been in regular contact with the army through out the day trying to cool the situation
Fr Mullans Brother and two Neice's metting Pope Paul VI following his death.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

ballymurphy massacre 40th ann, events.............

Ballymurphy Massacre 40th Anniversary Events
Sunday 24th July12 noonBallymurphy Massacre Annual Soccer Competition. Launched at top pitches. Falls Park
1st – 31st August Launch 1pm Photo Exhibition, ‘Reflections on Internment’. Exhibition by Jonathan Porter.
Belfast City Hall
1st – 31st AugustLaunch 1pmPhoto Exhibition, ‘Reflections on Internment’. Exhibition by Jonathan Porter.Belfast City Hall
30th July - 7th August Ballymurphy Massacre Campaign Exhibition
follow the families truth campaign of recent years in media and photo exhibition
St Mary’s University College
29th July – 14th August Archive Exhibition (Evidence and Documentation Collected by Families)
Conway Mill
Friday 29th July – 14th Aug Ballymurphy - The Aftermath’, a specially-commissioned Play written by Brenda Murphy, directed by Pam Brighton, will be premiered on 29th July in Conway Mill Tickets £100 admits two.
The play will run until 14th August. Tickets £10 can be bought online at or through the Art Shop, McGlades, Frank Cahill Resource Centre 02890585755 or Janet Donnelly at 07514463055, john 07512166867 A special premier of the play and a launch of the Archive Exhibition will be held on Friday 29th July 8pm, this would be a great opportunity to meet with the families, tickets are limited book now.
Any one interested in in drama that would like to partisapate in this play contact website or numbers provided
Conway Mill
Monday 1st August7.30pmFrank Cahill Memorial Lecture
Ballymurphy – The Unanswered Questions

It is forty years since the British army killed many unarmed civilians in Ballymurphy and elsewhere in West Belfast . Many questions remain unanswered. Participating in this panel discussion to look at what happened in 1971 and in its aftermath is Ted Aubertin (ex-British paratrooper), Eamonn McCann (writer and broadcaster) and Gerry McConville (community activist). The discussion will examine the behaviour of the soldiers, who directed them and ask when justice will be done. Admission is free and light refreshments will be served.Janet 07514463055
Conway Mill
Wed 3rd Aug9.30 – 3.30'Shared Experience - Dealing With The Past'
The Mill in Conway Street , Wednesday 3rd August, 9.30am (registration) -
3.30pm (close)
All-day conference and workshops involving grass roots, cross-community and
voluntary organisations (including WAVE and VAST) and relatives of those
killed in mass killings in McGurk's Bar, Ballymurphy, New Lodge and Shankill Boming
attempting to learn from each other's experiences. Chair - Michael Colbert.
Organised by Ballymurphy Massacre Families. Contact - Janet 07514463055. Conway Mill
Friday 5th Aug 1pm Ballymurphy Massacre – the Families
St Mary’s University College
Friday 5th August,1pmPanel Discussion on State Killings/Massacres, examining comparisons with, and similarities between, the Ballymurphy, Springhill, Bloody Sunday and New Lodge massacres. State misinformation and propaganda. The treatment of witnesses and families in court. What is required to redress these issues? John Teggart (Ballymurphy Massacre) and John Kelly (Bloody Sunday), Other speakers to be confirmed. For more information contact John at 07512166867; or Janet at 07514463055; or email admin@ballymurphymassacre.comSt Mary’s University College
Sun 7th Aug1pm‘March of Truth’ through Ballymurphy, 
Sunday 7th August 1pm
This is the 40th Anniversary of the Ballymurphy Massacre following the release of truth from the saville inquiry the tourch has been handed to the ballymurphy massacre families we need you the community to show your support as our campaign goes forward come and support the families as they retrace the path of the massacre. All groups and Bands welcome, bring your banners! Contact:, or Frank Cahill Resource Centre 028 90585755
Springfield Park
Sun 7th Aug6pBallymurphy Massacre Annual Soccer Competition Final
Top pitches, Falls Park , Sunday 7th August, 6pm, & Presentation Night in Sliabh Dubh.
Sliabh Dubh
Any queries on the events to John at 07512166867, Janet 07514463055,, or Frank Cahill Resource Centre 028 90585755

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Loughinisland families

Loughinisland families shock at ombudsman findings

LoughinislandPeople in the pub were watching football when two UVF men walked in and began firing
massacre - the background
The families of six men murdered by loyalist paramilitaries in 1994 have said they are "shocked" at a police ombudsman's report into the killings.
Emma Rogan's father Adrian was one of those shot by the UVF at the Heights Bar, Loughinisland.
"For 11 years after the murder of our loved ones, police did not even have the focus and strategy to keep us informed, " she said.
The families' solicitor described the report as "timid, mild and meek".
Niall Murphy said the families believed the report proved police colluded with those involved and that the RUC made "no real attempt to catch the killers".
The ombudsman's report found that there were failings in the investigation. However there was insufficient evidence of collusion.
The six men who died were Adrian Rogan 34; Malcolm Jenkinson, 53; Barney Greene, 87; Daniel McCreanor 59; Patrick O'Hare, 35, and Eamon Byrne, 39.
They were all Catholics. Mr Greene was one of the oldest people to be killed in the North of Ireland Troubles

Sunday, 5 June 2011

McGurk’s Families’ Press Statement

Following the publication in February of the Police Ombudsman’s report into the RUC investigation of the McGurk’s Massacre, the Chief Constable, Matt Baggott, rejected key aspects of the Ombudsman’s findings. He tried to suggest that the hurt caused to the families was as a result of ‘confusion’ and was not the direct result of a deliberate campaign of disinformation involving the RUC, British Army HQ and the NIO.
We met the Chief Constable within days of his statement and asked him to study the report and meet all of the families to let us know exactly which of the 13 findings he rejected and why. We understood that this would take a matter of weeks. Three months later the Chief Constable is still refusing to meet us or give us any explanation for his deeply hurtful statement. He has had the ear of Special Branch but has remained deaf to the families of the victims.
The lie, the spin, the disinformation in relation to McGurk’s Bar began with a report from the RUC Duty Officer on the morning after the bombing which claimed that a man with a suitcase had entered the bar and set the suitcase down to be picked up by another person. This is the RUC fabrication and pretext that the explosion was an IRA bomb-in-transit. This is the black propaganda that villified the good name of our families.
We have brought a suitcase here today for the Chief Constable. This symbolises the years of lies and deception. The suitcase that never was but which was invented by RUC officers. The IRA bomb that was in fact a UVF bomb.
That lie was followed by many others and this suitcase contains copies of the documents that spread the lies, the spin, the disinformation. Special Branch reports, British Army HQ intelligence summaries, John Taylor’s statement to Stormont, Prime Minister Faulkner’s briefing to Home Secretary Maudling and more (all available on our Research page).
The question has arisen of an apology from the Chief Constable on behalf of the police. We no longer wish to hear an apology. The time has past. After such a delay it would serve no purpose.
What we do want to hear from the Chief Constable is if he now accepts the report of the Police Ombudsman. No ifs or buts or excuses. And no more delays – for these delays have only exacerbated the trauma felt by our families.
We are no longer requesting a meeting with the Chief Constable. The onus is now on him as a public servant.
End Note: As always we thank our friends in the Pat Finucane Centre and the British Irish Rights Watch for their continuing support, never mind their time

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Derry Families back Ballymurphy Families

THE relatives of the 11 people killed in the 1971 Ballymurphy Massacre have described their recent visit to Derry as part of their ongoing campaign for justice as a “great success”.
The day-long visit was hosted by families of the 13 unarmed civilians killed on Bloody Sunday, a massacre  carried out by the same division of the Parachute Regiment responsible for the Ballymurphy deaths five months earlier.
The Derry visit took in meetings with the city’s current SDLP Mayor Colum Eastwood, political commentator and civil rights veteran Eamon McCann and a special presentation from the Ancient Order of the Hibernians (AOH).
“We have met regularly with the Bloody Sunday families over the years,” explained Janet Donnelly, whose father Joseph was shot dead in the Ballymurphy Massacre.
“They advise us and help us in our campaign for justice as they’ve been through it themselves and have come out the other end.  We met with them at the start of the day on a visit to the Free Derry Museum in the Bogside, and afterwards we spoke to Gareth Stewart and Jim Doherty of the Gasyard Wall Féile to discuss what the Féile and the Ballymurphy Families could do jointly. 

Thursday, 7 April 2011

FR Sean Mcmanus

Capitol Hill. Thursday, March 24, 2011—“ There was a time the only way Fr. Mc Manus would have gotten into Dublin Castle was in chains, in the dungeon.”

Thus spoke an Irish-American journalist when told Fr Mc Manus would be launching and signing his newly published Memoirs in Dublin Castle on Tuesday, April 5, 2011 at 6:30 PM.
The Dublin Castle event is the first in a series of launches of My American Struggle for Justice in Northern Ireland (Collins Press. Cork).
The others are as follows:
Belfast: Saturday, April 9, 2011 at 2 PM. Cultúrlann 216 Falls Road.
Bellaghy: Sunday, April 10 at 7 PM. Wolfe Tones, GAA grounds,

Enniskillen: Thursday, April. 14, 2011. Library. 8PM.

While Belfast and Enniskillen are obvious venues, some have expressed surprise at the Bellaghy venue -- a rather small area.
“ That’s because I have a special connection to Bellaghy -- the home of two dead Hunger Strikers: Francis Hughes (May 12, 1981) and Tom Mc Elwee (August 8, 1981) who were first cousins to each other,” explained Fr Mc Manus. “ On May 30,1981 the Irish National Caucus brought Francis’ brother Oliver to Washington and later brought out Mrs. Mc Elwee, Tom’s mother”.

Fr Mc Manus continued: “When Oliver, now an Independent Republican Councilor, heard about my Memoirs, he did me the great honor of sponsoring my visit to Bellaghy. I greatly look forward to seeing the Hughes and the Mc Elwees”.

The Belfast launch is being sponsored by Relatives for Justice. Fr. Mc Manus expressed great appreciation for Mark Thompson and Clare Reilly,two leaders of the sponsoring group. One of the speakers will be Raymond Mc Cord. The event is also being strongly supported by the Ballymurphy Massacre Committee. Fr Mc Manus recently helped to arrange their participation in a Congressional Hearing

Sunday, 3 April 2011


The Ballymurphy Massacre Families Campaign Invite you to their 'March of Truth' on Sunday 7th August in Belfast, supported by the Derry Bloody Sunday Families. Please join the March and show your support. Get your family, friends, neighbours, streets, estates and areas organised and involved now, bring area banners along. they need your help and support now to continue their Campaign... THANK YOU.......

Ballymurphy -The Aftermath

Ballymurphy -The Aftermath
A Play about the events of the Massacre
The stories of those killed and their families who have organised the research and the lobbying that has brought this event to public attention.
The Families believe that by putting the event on record it will force the British to admit its wrong doings of 1971 and lead to an apology from those responsible. The play will tell this story. You can make the play possible by buying tickets early - tickets will pay for the play to be produced .Tickets are £10 each.The play will run from the 29th July to 14th August time 8pm .Saturday matinee’s 2pm. It will be the first play in the new Courtyard at the Mill, Conway street.
The play is written by Brenda Murphy, Directed by Pam Brighton and Designed by Danny Devenny.We are organising a special Fundraising Premier Night event on the 29th July tickets are £100.there is a limited number of tickets for this night and after event with families and organisers. tickets are available now online @  ....... also at the art shop falls road,  mcglades top of the rock,   andersonstown news,..........  

Congressional Hearing for Ballymurphy Families

Helsinki Commission holds hearing on Northern Ireland
Fr. Sean Mc Manus (center) with two of the witnesses who spoke at the Helsinki Commission hearing on Northern Ireland. Ciaran McAirt (left) testified on behalf of the victims of the McGurk's Bar bombing and John Teggart (right) spoke on behalf of the Ballymurphy Massacre Committee.
Fr. Sean Mc Manus (center) with two of the witnesses who spoke at the Helsinki Commission hearing on Northern Ireland. Ciaran McAirt (left) testified on behalf of the victims of the McGurk's Bar bombing and John Teggart (right) spoke on behalf of the Ballymurphy Massacre Committee.
The U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (The Helsinki Commission) held a hearing Wednesday entitled "Northern Ireland: Why Justice in Individual Cases Matters." The hearing was chaired by Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ).
The Helsinki Commission is an independent agency of the federal government which monitors compliance with the Helsinki Accords and promotes human rights, democracy and economic, environmental and military cooperation in 56 countries. This was the commission’s twelfth hearing on Northern Ireland.
At the hearing, families of Irish citizens killed in the violence in Northern Ireland called for independent investigations and accountability for past abuses by security forces. The commission reviewed provisions of the Good Friday Agreement, including those relating to policing and the administration of justice in the region.
On the day, testimony included statements by John Finucane, son of Patrick Finucane, a human rights lawyer murdered by loyalist paramilitaries; Raymond McCord, father of Raymond McCord, Jr., who was also murdered by loyalist paramilitaries; John Teggart, son of Daniel Teggart, victim of the 1971 Ballymurphy massacre; and Ciarán McAirt, grandson of Kitty Irvine, a victim of the McGurk’s Bar bombing. Jane Winter, Director of British Irish Rights Watch, also spoke.
Congressman Smith, who is also Chairman of the House Human Rights Subcommittee and an executive member of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, was clear on the need for accountability.
“Today family members of people killed in Northern Ireland will tell us about their efforts to learn the truth about possible British government collusion or complicity in their loved one’s murder,” he said. “I join my voice with theirs to say: enough obfuscation and stonewalling. We must continue to press for the truth…and continue to press until justice has been served.”
Mr. Smith said he planned to meet with the visiting British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Owen Paterson, to discuss longstanding concerns. He called for more openness from the British Government and criticized both its continued refusal to hold an independent public inquiry into police collusion with paramilitaries, and the 2005 Inquiries Act which makes such inquiries more difficult.
“Equivocating on the issue of truth and justice for past crimes will only embolden those elements responsible for them from the resulting impunity,” Smith said.
“The time has come to focus truth’s light on the murky relationships and collusion that existed between the security forces and paramilitary organizations in Northern Ireland and hold those responsible to account.”
Fr. Sean Mc Manus, president of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus, emphasized the significance of such a hearing for groups such as the Ballymurphy Massacre Committee, before praising Mr. Smith’s ongoing efforts.
“This [is] the twelfth hearing Congressman Smith has held on human rights in Northern Ireland,” he said. “Nobody has ever come near that remarkable record in the entire history of the U.S. Congress.

Saturday, 2 April 2011


BRIEGE VOYLE - daughter of joan connolly speech

Good afternoon everyone.

My name is Briege Voyle and I’m here representing the Ballymurphy Massacre Group.

I would like to thank the Bloody Sunday families for inviting me to join with you on this historic occasion as we all remember your loved ones who were murdered 39 years ago today.

On behalf of the Ballymurphy Massacre Group, I would like to pay tribute to the courage, determination, and dignity with which you conducted your campaign for the truth about what happened here almost 40 years ago.

You displayed so many qualities on your journey towards the truth. But it is your determination to succeed that I find most inspiring. Like so many of us in search of the truth, you had door after door slammed shut in your face. It must have been a huge battle to persevere. But persevere you did.

I’m sure along the way, the families had disagreements about this or that issue. But you proved that by working together, resolving and sometimes setting aside disagreements, truly great things can be achieved.

Your ability to overcame obstacle after obstacle and remain focused on your goal was what saw the truth finally released.

The Ballymurphy Massacre Group can learn a lot from you.

It seems like only yesterday that I stood here with you on the 15th of June last year when we waited on the British Prime Minister to deliver the findings of the Inquiry.

The atmosphere was electric as we waited on the announcement. I was gripped by the feeling that something truly uplifting was about to happen. That words once released from their forty-year prison could never again be locked away.

David Cameron announced to the watching world that your loved ones were innocent and delivered a historic apology. As he uttered the words “on behalf of the government, indeed, on behalf of our country, I am deeply sorry” - tears of joy and sadness in equal measure rolled down my cheeks. 

It really is difficult to describe the overwhelming joy and pride that the Ballymurphy families felt for you on that momentous day.

It was a day when innocence was proclaimed. Elation, at last! Your long wait for innocence had come to an end. Widgery and his whitewash were confined to the dustbin of history once and for all. No ifs, buts or maybes – Just the Truth!

It was an honour to be here on that day and share in you’re your moment. I live in hope that one day you will be with the Ballymurphy families as we celebrate our day of innocence.

Until then, our fight for the truth will go on. We remain steadfast on our course. United in our pursuit of the day when our loved ones will be declared innocent and the full facts of what happened in Ballymurphy in August in 1971 will be revealed.

Much has been said about the cost of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry at £195 Million. Is it right that society should pay such a cost for the truth?

This is an argument that is constantly thrown in our faces as we search for the truth. David Cameron must be commended for his full and sincere apology on 15 June last year. However, his words were tarnished by his statement that “there will be no more open-ended and costly inquiries into the past”.

I would like to say a few things about cost to Mr Cameron. What cost did the Bloody Sunday and Ballymurphy Families pay when the British Government unleashed the Parachute regiment on the streets of Derry and the Belfast almost 40 years ago.

I’ll tell you Mr Cameron. We paid the cost of the lives of our innocent loved ones!

We paid the cost of all the special moments that we can never share with them – the births and the marriages. All of life’s little successes which have felt hollow because of the absence of a loved one’s proud gaze.

How many Christmas dinners have been eaten with an empty chair at the table? How many tears have been shed? How many times has a child’s cry in the night went unheard?

The most difficult thing for me and the other Ballymurphy families in trying to deal with our loss is that there are so many questions that need to be answered. So many lies that need to be dispelled.

All that we want is to hear the truth of what happened over those three tragic days in August 1971 in Ballymurphy.

My mother’s name was Joan Connolly. A mother of 8, mummy was shot and killed by members of the Parachute Regiment on the 9th of August 1971.

My mother was only one of 11 people who were killed over a three day period. Some of the other victims included a local priest, Father Mullen, an ex-soldier, Mr McKerr, and a young man of only 19 years of age.  After the three days 57 children were left with only one parent.

We the Ballymurphy families believe that all victims have the right to know the truth about how our loved ones died. We need answers to the questions that haunt us everyday and every night. Why did it happen? Why was it my loved one? Will the truth ever be told?

I say shame on you Mr Cameron for insulting the families of the innocent with your talk of cost! It is not a cost, it is a debt! A debt which the British Government owed to us as soon as those Paras took aim and began to fire on unarmed and innocent civilians.

I would call on Mr Cameron to show courage and leadership by meeting the families of the Ballymurphy Massacre and telling us how you will make good your debt to us.
       do not insult us  again with  the offer of a desk top
        operation from the het we deserve better
Before I go I would like to thank the Bloody Sunday families for the support that they have given us in recent years. They have been a great source of inspiration and advice in our quest.

 I would like to invite the families and everyone here to join us in Belfast on August 6th for our annual "March for Truth". And our week long activities which will take place at the beginning of August this year and every year to commemorate the victims of the Ballymurphy Massacre

Friday, 1 April 2011




Paras shot dead 11 civilians

It has been called west Belfast's Bloody Sunday. Over 36 hours between 9 and 11 August 1971 – six months before British paratroopers were deployed to Derry with tragic consequences – the Parachute Regiment shot dead 11 civilians in the west Belfast housing estate of Ballymurphy. Those who were fatally wounded included the local priest and a 45-year-old mother.

Now, in the wake of the publication last week of the Saville report on Bloody Sunday, the relatives of those killed 39 years ago in Belfast have called for an international investigation to determine whether the same soldiers were involved in the "Ballymurphy massacre".

John Teggart's father, Daniel, was shot 14 times while fleeing an area close to a joint army-police station on the Springfield Road during the violence. Teggart said his father had been visiting his sister's house when the shooting started. An inquest later found that most of the bullets entered Daniel Teggart's back while he was lying on the ground after being wounded, his son said.

"This was a massacre on the same scale as Bloody Sunday, although it was forgotten," said John Teggart.

The shootings occurred during a mass arrest operation in the period of internment, when security forces detained hundreds of nationalists across North without trial. Teggart, however, stressed that there has been no evidence that any of the 11 who fell were armed or carrying explosives. "The paras just went berserk," he contended.

Teggart said the families of those killed now want an independent international inquiry to establish if any of the same soldiers involved in Bloody Sunday fired fatal shots in Ballymurphy.

"We have been able to establish that among the 500 paratroopers deployed from 8 August, 1 Para – the same unit sent into the Bogside in Derry – was on our streets. It was the same type of operation as the one in Derry on Bloody Sunday. The paras went in hard, they fired incoherently, they shot people lying on the ground. We need an inquiry to establish if those doing the shooting in Ballymurphy were the same ones who opened fire six months later in Derry."

The parallels between what happened in Ballymurphy and in Derry are uncanny, Teggart said. The death of the local parish priest, Fr Hugh Mullan, recalls the way another priest, the future Catholic Bishop of Derry, Fr Edward Daly, tried to help the wounded on Bloody Sunday.

"The world saw the television pictures of Fr Daly waving a white handkerchief towards the paras in Derry as he tried to save a wounded man being carried through the streets," said Teggart. "Fr Mullan had telephoned the army base to tell them he was going out to help those wounded in Ballymurphy. He came out waving a piece of cloth, walking towards a field where one of the men shot by the paras lay dying. Fr Mullan was shot as he tried to help a local man and he fell down as he prayed over that man's body."

Teggart said the evidence the campaign group have gathered undermines one of Lord Saville's key conclusions regarding top military officers. The Bloody Sunday report said it could "not criticise General Ford for deciding to deploy soldiers to arrest rioters..." Saville also concluded that General Ford "neither knew nor had reason to know at any stage that his decision would or was likely to result in soldiers firing unjustifiably on that day."

But the Ballymurphy massacre campaign group said that what happened six months earlier was a clear warning that the paratroopers should not have been deployed against unarmed civilians.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams, who is the local MP, has called for an "international, reputable, neutral and dependable agency" to be brought in to investigate the massacre. SDLP leader and South Down MP Margaret Ritchie last week asked David Cameron to launch an inquiry. The families are expected to meet Northern Ireland secretary Owen Paterson over the next few weeks.

For John Teggart, watching the Derry families celebrate the declarations that their loved ones were innocent stirred mixed emotions.

"We were all delighted for the people of Derry. But it made me think that if the authorities had carried out a proper inquiry of what happened in Ballymurphy six months earlier, instead of calling in the military police to investigate, the paras would never have been deployed in Derry and all those people up there would not have lost their lives."

Call for fresh Ballymurphy inquests Irish Independent 29/10/10

New eyewitness accounts of the shootings of 11 people by British soldiers in Northern Ireland have been submitted to the region's Attorney General in a bid to get fresh inquests opened.
The statements form part of an extensive file of information related to the so-called Ballymurphy Massacre in west Belfast that has been compiled by the victims' families. Archive testimony of the 1971 killings collected by the Catholic Church and full autopsy reports are also included in the submission to John Larkin QC.
The families are dissatisfied with the open verdicts delivered in the original inquests, held in the wake of the controversial shootings by British Paratroopers, and have asked Mr Larkin to establish new probes.
The call comes as the relatives continue to demand an independent international investigation into the events of August 1971, when the Army stormed the nationalist area after the Northern Ireland government introduced the contentious policy of internment without trial.
A Catholic priest and a mother-of-eight were among the 11 shot dead during a three day operation that was designed to round up suspected republican paramilitaries. The killings happened only months before soldiers from the Parachute Regiment shot dead 14 civil rights marchers in Londonderry in 1972.
Briege Voyle, whose mother Joan Connolly was killed in Ballymurphy, expressed hope that the file contained enough evidence to persuade Mr Larkin. She said:
"Some of this was available at the time of our loved ones' murders and was not considered or investigated. The families for over the last 20 years have collected information from eyewitnesses to the massacre along with full autopsy reports that were previously withheld from the families, and hope that the Attorney General may open the inquest into the death of our loved ones and consider investigating the circumstances around their murder and conclude that they were brutally murdered."
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said the appointment of the region's first Attorney General in 38 years - Mr Larkin took up post this year following the devolution of policing and justice powers to Stormont - had enabled the legal bid.
"The families have spent years carrying out their own inquiries into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of their loved ones," said Mr Adams. "They believe that not all of the facts pertaining to the shootings were made known or that the RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary) or British Army's Military Police properly investigated the killings."
A spokesman for Mr Larkin confirmed the submission had been received and said the Attorney General would now take time to review it.

Briege Voyle speaking on International Women’s Day as guest of Coventry Trades Union Council
Photo: Troops Out Movement.
What Can We Do to Support the Ballymurphy Families?

· Distribute this information as widely as possible – in Trade Unions, Political Parties, Community Groups, friends & colleagues. Detailed leaflets about the massacre are available from the address below.

· Write to David Cameron, Owen Paterson and your own MP to demand a full Independent, International, Investigation into the Ballymurphy killings - and encourage others to do so.

Contact details for above
· David Cameron, 10 Downing Street, London, SW1A 2AA or on Form at
· Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Office 11 Millbank, London SW1P 4PN Email: or fill in form at
· Your own MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
· Sign the Petition in support of the families’ demands: 

From Ballymurphy to Derry....

TWO BRITISH ARMY PARATROOPERS who shot dead six people on Bloody Sunday are understood to have killed up to four people in the Ballymurphy Massacre, just five months earlier.
Truth campaigners now say that Bloody Sunday might never have happened had the British army been brought to book for the Ballymurphy slaughter.
Between August 9 and 11, 1971 - the beginning of internment - 11 innocent civilians were shot dead by the British Army in the greater Ballymurphy area.
Two of the dead, Frank Quinn and Fr Hugh Mullan, were killed by two snipers from the British army's 1st Para firing from the roof of the Henry Taggart Memorial Hall on the Springfield Road.
The same British soldiers were also in the building when Joseph Murphy and Danny Teggart were brought there after being shot by the British Army.
Instead of receiving medical treatment the men were beaten and then killed, it's claimed. The British army snipers are suspected of involvement in these deaths.
No British soldier has ever faced a court in relation to the Ballymurphy Massacre.
Five months later - on January 30, 1972 - the British army's Parachute Regiment was sent on to the streets of the Bogside in Derry. In a carbon-copy of what happened in Ballymurphy, although over a shorter period of time, they killed 14 unarmed civilians.
Two British army snipers, identified as 'F' and 'G' in the Saville Inquiry into the slaughter, were responsible for six deaths in Derry.
Truth campaigners believe they are the same British soldiers who killed up to four people in the Ballymurphy Massacre five months previously.
On February 1 Andree Murphy of Relatives for Justice (RFJ), which represents the families of the Ballymurphy dead, called for an independent, international investigation into the Ballymurphy shootings.
She said: "Bloody Sunday could have been prevented if the Paratroopers had been held accountable for Ballymurphy. If Ballymurphy had been investigated properly, circumstances would have prevailed which would have prevented British soldiers from shooting people with impunity in Derry."
British army Lieutenant-Colonel Derek Wilford commanded 1st Para at the time. Prior to the Ballymurphy Massacre he ordered his troops to take action that would "shock and stun the population", according to documents uncovered in the British National Archive by truth campaigners. Snipers from 1st Para's elite anti-tank platoon mixed with other British army regiments on the roof of the Henry Taggart Memorial Hall overlooking Ballymurphy.
Throughout August 9 they opened up on any moving target in the firing zone - killing Fr Hugh Mullan and then Frank Quinn, who had bravely rushed to the aid of the dying priest.
Danny Teggart and Joseph Murphy were shot the same day. British soldiers brought them into the Henry Taggart Hall, where they were tortured, according to locals.
Danny was already dead; however Joseph survived for another two weeks before passing away.
The British army snipers were in the hall at the time of the torture. Danny and Joseph were beaten and had rubber bullets fired at them from point-blank range, it's claimed. It is also reported that the victims were lifted into the air with bayonets pushed deep into their bullet wounds.

"The British government needs to make a statement acknowledging the role of its soldiers in the Ballymurphy Massacre and the hurt and pain they caused, as well as the innocence of those shot dead.
"Forty-three children were left without a parent after it ended.
There needs to be an inquiry into how this was allowed to happen, it cannot stop now, it has to go further."
The Ballymurphy Massacre victims were Fr Hugh Mullan (38), Frank Quinn (19), Noel Phillips (19), Joan Connolly (45), Danny Teggart (44), Joseph Murphy (41), Joseph Corr (43), Eddie Doherty (28), John Laverty (19), John McKerr (49) and Pat McCarthy (44).

Secret British Army document from 1971

Secret British Army document from 1971

A SECRET British Army document from September 1971 shows that military interrogators in Long Kesh wanted to continue using brutal torture methods against men who had been interned without charge or trial and later ruled by the European Court of Human Rights as “inhumane and degrading treatment”.
The file, uncovered by the Derry-based Pat Finucane Centre and the campaign group Justice for the Forgotten, offers an assessment of the political and military situation in the North by senior members of the British Army just weeks after the introduction of Internment.
It reveals not just the mindset of British commanders at the time but also exposes the tissue of lies on which the British Army occupation was based.
According to the document, internment was a “success”, the UDR was a non-sectarian force, and civilians killed by the British Army in August 1971, during what was later called ‘The Ballymurphy Massacre’, were all “gunmen”.
Those shot dead by the British Army during the massacre were Fr Hugh Mullan, Joan Connolly, Frank Quinn, Noel Phillips, Daniel Teggart, Edward Doherty, John Laverty and Joseph Corr.
The author estimates that between 12 and 30 people were killed by the British Army from 9 and 12 August. The document describes the British Army “clearing” areas with “gunmen fighting a rearguard action” and British soldiers “having to use cover fire”. It goes on:
“Fire and movement became very much the order of the day. Some gunmen fought hard, on occasions right through large buildings floor by floor, until they were killed on the roof-tops.”
In reality, the majority of people killed were civilians shot by British Army snipers from roof-tops in the Springmartin estate.
Fr Hugh Mullan was shot dead by British soldiers positioned on top of flats in the loyalist Springmartin estate. The local priest had attempted to administer the last rites to a man he saw shot by the British Army. He was waving a white cloth at the time he was shot. Frank Quinn was shot dead when he attempted to crawl out to help the two stricken men.
Joan Connolly was shot dead as she was searching the streets for her children. After being hit, the Ballymurphy mother attempted to get up when the force of a second shot to her head lifted her body from the ground and threw her into a field. Noel Phillips was found shot dead on the bank of a stream between Springhill and Ballymurphy.
Father of ten, Daniel Teggart, was hit by more than a dozen high-velocity shots by British soldiers who opened fire from the Henry Taggart fort on the Springfield Road. John Laverty and Joseph Corr were shot dead by the British Army during the same incident. John’s body was discovered in a derelict yard, showing signs that he had been beaten before being shot dead. Joseph’s body was discovered a short distance away.
An internal memo describes the British Army as stretched and says “we must get more UDR”. The author is in favour of expanding the UDR and maintains that, despite the fact that the force would be almost exclusively Protestant and unionist, “It is the opinion of General Anderson that such a force would still retain its non-sectarian identity.”
The document describes internment as “successful” and calls for the use of brutal interrogation techniques against internees.
“If we are going to gain the full military advantages of internment we must continue the process of interrogation-in-depth on carefully selected detainees,” says the document.
The British Government was later found guilty of “inhumane and degrading treatment” by the European Court of Human Rights for its treatment of prisoners interned without trial.

Briege Voyle SDLP Conference Speech 2009

Briege Voyle SDLP Conference Speech 2009

My name is Briege Voyle. My mother, Joan Connolly, was one of 11 people murdered during Internment in August 1971 by the British Parachute Regiment.

I’d like to thank Tim Attwood and the SDLP for inviting that Ballymurphy Massacre Committee to speak here today.

In the early hours of 9th August 1971 the British Government introduced Internment without trial. People will look back on this period as an intense mark in the history of the troubles. But what you will not find in the history books is the brutality, the murder and the bloodshed caused by the British Parachute Regiment over the three days in August 1971 in the Greater Ballymurphy are. You will not find any history of the trauma and brutality that our families suffered in what was to become known as the Forgotten Massacre.

Fr Hugh Mullan, aged 38, was shot dead while giving last rights to a wounded civilian. Fr Hugh Mullan was waving a white handkerchief above his head while attending the man before he was murdered.

Frank Quinn aged 19 was shot while going to help Fr Mullen, he died where he fell.

Joseph Murphy aged 44 was shot in the leg. Although injured he was taken from the field by the Parachute regiment to the Henry Taggart barracks where he received a severe beating from which he died of three weeks later.

Noel Philips aged 19 was wounded when shot in the backside. He was then executed with a bullet behind each ear by the British Parachute Regiment that picked him up.

Joan Connolly aged 45 and a mother of 8 left her place of safety, after hearing the cries of young Noel Philips, only to be shot in the face. She was shot another 3 times and left lying in the field to bleed to death, even when other injured or dead were removed.

Danny Teggart, aged 44, was shot 14 times as he lay on the ground close to Noel Philips and was also severely beaten.
Eddie Doherty aged 31 was shot in the back going home to his wife and three children.

John Laverty, aged 20, and Joseph Corr, aged 43, were both shot in the back. Both had come from their homes close by. Again they were shot by the British Parachute Regiment.

John McKerr, aged 49, was shot in the head as he left his place of work at Corpus Christy Church, only yards from its gates.
Pat McCarthy died of a heart attack after soldiers from the British Parachute Regiment carried out a mock execution on him by placing a riffle in his mouth and laughing at him as they pulled the trigger only for the gun not to be loaded. Friends and neighbours of the man were held back from trying to help him as he lay dying.

As a result of the Massacre 51 children were left with a single parent in Ballymurphy. 27 people in Belfast alone lost their lives in the three day period. 37 years on we are still waiting on the British Government to come clean on what happened.

To date there has been no RUC/PSNI investigation. What investigation did we get? A member if the British Army took statements from his colleagues and released storied to the media claiming they had shot gunmen and a gun woman. That’s what the history books and the papers tell you.

Today however we can tell you for over twelve years we ourselves have collected evidence of the truth of what happened during those three days from over 100 witnesses.

Three years ago we approached Relatives For Justice, where we spoke to Andree Murphy, who has guided us on a very emotional journey, that for the first time has taken us into the public eye so that we can tell our story, supported by eye witness accounts, and for this we want to thank Andree for all her help, support and guidance.

What would people here today expect from the legal system, what if it was one of your loved ones? When our cases went to the court the outcomes were recorder as open verdicts. No compensation was paid. In fact Danny Teggart’s wife was told she was financially better off with her widow’s pension and one less mouth to feed as her husband was unemployed at the time of his death.

We cannot speak about the ‘Ballymurphy Massacre’ without mentioning ‘Bloody Sunday’, where 14 people were murdered.

Had the British Parachute Regiment been made accountable for the bloodshed in Ballymurphy then ‘Bloody Sunday’ may have been prevented in January 1972; and the murders on the Shankill in September 1972 by the same regiment.

The theme of today is ‘miscarriages of justice’. Our loved ones paid the ultimate price.

The British Government like to think they had the greatest legal system in the world. But if you were a soldier accused of murder the British system would do all in their power to prove you’re innocent.

376 deaths were caused by state forces. 76 of these were children. Only 3 soldiers were convicted of murder in the conflict. All were given lenient sentences. All were accepted back into the army with promotion.

All sides in the conflict have blood in their hands. All sides need to own up to the truth and all victims need to know the truth of what happened to their loved ones by all those who played a part in the conflict. This has to include the state for their part.

We eagerly await the release of the Eames/Bradley report on the 28th January. What will be in for our families and the families of those who have been murdered over the last 37 years? We have met with Eames/Bradley on two occasions and our requests to them were very simple. We asked for:

An Independent International Investigation, examining all the circumstances surrounding our loved ones deaths.
For the British Government to issue a statement of the Innocence, and
A Public Apology
We know we will not have our day in court. We know there will not be a single soldier tried for the murders of our loved one, but we also know that we will not stop in our campaign until all our loved ones are declared innocent.

Thank You