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


 Joseph Corr

Died/ Murdered 27 - Aug -1971 Age: 43

Joseph Corr. a father of eight children, was shot in the early hours of the third day of Internment, He left his house with his teenage son when he heard bin lids being rattled. Expecting to see Loyalists gangs in the area, he was taken by surprise when he spotted paratroopers making their way down the mountain loney. When he turned to return home, Jospeh was shot near junction of the Whiterock Road. He was taken to Musgrave Park Military Hospital but died a few weeks later from his injuries.

Joan Bridgid Connolly (nee O’Hara)

Born 28-Oct-1926 Murdered 09-Aug-1971

Joan was born 28th October 1926, to Nan and Jerry O’ Hara in 24 Colinward Street of the Springfield Rd. There youngest of eight children six girls and two boys, (unknown to little Joan she was to grow up and have the same family as her mother own mother). As a little girl Joan attended St John’s Primary School, which was at the top of her street. When she left school she went to work in the mill, at 16 she met Davis Connolly a barman from Monaghan, in the South of Ireland. They married in St Paul’s Church, Cavendish Street, on 10th October 1946. The newly married couple honeymooned in Dublin. On their return they moved in with Joan’s sister in Ballymurphy, in 1948 Joan had the first of her 8 children Paul, followed by Denise three yrs later, then Patrick by now they had moved to the markets area of Belfast and here Joan had baby #4 Philomena. The Family then moved to bungalows on Shore Rd, here they had a very happy family life and Briege, Joan and Maura were born. The bungalow had only two bedrooms and was small and cramped for a family of seven, Joan and Dennis jumped at chance of a larger house in Ballymurphy, and in 1965 they moved into 91 Ballymurphy Rd. Here Joan was to have her last baby Irene, born in 1968, a good family life resumed and the family became part of the close nit community of Ballymurphy. Joan was to find herself to be trusted by her neighbours when a family member was to take ill, or a mother was to have a difficult birth, because it was her they often sent for, her children were to be told in later years that their mother was always willing to help her friends and neighbours no matter what her own circumstances were.

In late May of 1971 Joan became the proud grandmother of Christopher a grandson born with o shock of red hair just like her own, this was the only grandchild she was to see or hold as she was never to see or hold any of her other 26 grandchildren, especially the other 8 who all had her beautiful red hair, nor was she to any of her 16 Great-grand-children... Why? Because on August 9th 1971 internment was introduced in West Belfast, men young and old, even women were to be arrested and jailed without trial or reason. This was a date that would change the lives of Joan’s family forever, and a date that history would never forget… on this August evening the Para troop regiment of the British Army were to Murder Joan as she went to help a young boy (Noel Phillips) who was shot and wounded by the same soldiers, they were both to lose their lives that night along with Fr Hugh Mullen, Frank Quinn and Danny Taggart. Joan’s family were in turmoil, not knowing what to do Denis panicked and sent his young daughter Denise (with baby Christopher) Breige, Joan, Maura and Irene to his family in the south of Ireland, first they had to endure a stay in a refugee camp on the border, and this is were Breige and Denise were to find out their mother was dead and had been buried, they had only each other for comfort as they mourned their mothers death. Denise was flown back to her home in Manchester with he baby son, and the other girls were to spend the next 2-3 months with Denis’s family. Denis was to suffer from ill health due to the murder of his wife, he suffered a break down after Bloody Sunday, after the death of his wife Denis and his family were to be harassed, berated and tortured on a regular basis by the army, until he moved to Divis Flats in November 1979. His health never recovered and he died of cancer in May 1982.

To this day Joan’s family keeps her memory alive in their hearts and the hearts of their children... for their love for her is eternal.


Daniel Taggart

Born 10-Oct-1926 Murdered 09-Aug -1971 
As told by Danny Taggart’s son and daughter:
Alice Harper and John Taggart

Daniel Taggart born 10th October 1926 the first child of Daniel and Alice Taggart. 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 forties, 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.

At that time there was a housing shortage just like all other towns and cities across Ireland. Danny and Belle moved in with Belle’s cousin in the village area of South Belfast, as her husband was at sea they later moved out three month’s later on her husband’s return. They rented one of three rooms above a fish shop in the Market’s area of Belfast. 
They later had their first two children Alice and Margaret named after their mother’s. For three years Belle visited the City Hall housing department weekly in search of a family home. At this stage Danny was working as a window cleaner along with his brother in law Davey completing work throughout the City Centre. A short time later Danny and Belle and their two daughter’s moved into one of two rented rooms in Belle’s Aunt Kitty’s house at 75 Market Street at the same time Danny’s cousin Rab Quinn moved into the other room with his wife Sally. The two families shared the small kitchen and living areas throughout the house and made it into their own little home. A number of years later Davey sold his window cleaning run and Danny was left unemployed and seeking employment.

Danny always ensured he provided for his growing family be it selling sticks or bric a brac with his brother Jimmy. A family friend Annie Hughes (nee Kane) often gave them work in her rag store in Abercorn Street. It was 1961, fourteen years after they married and with ten children and another on the way that Danny and Belle’s eldest son Jim became ill with a serious blood disease an was taken to Academy Street Clinic, whilst at the Clinic Belle was informed that her families living conditions had to change and the clinic gave her a letter to that affect. Belle produced the letter to a Mr Kennedy at the housing department at the City Hall Belfast, the letter proved successful and Danny and his family got their first home at 29 Westrock Drive Belfast a three bedroom bungalow known throughout the area as “The Bungalow’s”. Having a family home meant the world to Danny and was a huge contrast to twelve people living in one room. The family home consisted of three bedrooms and was spacious throughout with a front and rear garden for their children to play safely, the house was topped off with an aluminium roof were the children enjoyed sunbathing in the summer months everything they needed was within easy access and life went by happily for the family. Danny had found new employment in Mc Que Dick timber yard in the Dock’s area in Belfast, but later had to leave after suffering an injury in work. A short time later Danny took on a window cleaning run in the nearby Beechmount area and later another job loading and unloading lorries at nights. 

By now Danny’s family was complete having thirteen children in total five daughter’s and eight son’s, some off his elder children were even married by now and Danny loved knowing that every time he rapped on the window his younger children would run out of bed to greet him hoping that a carton containing sweets or biscuits might have burst and would have been given to their Daddy for his family. By now it was 1969 and “The Troubles” had started and Danny’s children got their first taste of CS gas which frequently floated in the area. The family were faced daily with gas, sniper’s bullets, and bullets from the Army and Loyalist’s shooting from Corry’s yard, the family’s home was far from adequate to protect the family as the aluminium roof could not withhold the bullets. 

In the later part of 1970 protestant’s moved out of the nearby New Barnsley area and Danny and his family were given a new home at 86 New Barnsley Crescent where he thought they would be safer.

Danny Taggart’s work and love for his family and their welfare is only one side of his character, he will always be remembered for his great sense of humour and his mischievous pranks. Danny loved to socialise with his brothers at the weekends in The Clock Bar on the Falls Road were he had a little bet on the horses along with a pint of Guinness. He would often carry out pranks on the bar men one of his brothers would tell us how Danny once stood at the bar waving a five pound note and calling for a drink, he waved the fiver about for everyone to see, when his time came to be served he placed his order with a man called Joe Farrelly he then handed over a pound note and when receiving his change he turned to the bar man with a very straight face and said “Joe I gave you a fiver” the other bar men would agree that they saw Danny with a fiver in his hand, Joe then turned to the till at which point a roar of laughter gave it all away. 


Noel Phillips

Murdered 9th - Aug - 1971 Age: 19

Noel Phillips lived in Whitecliff Parade in the Ballymurphy estate with his family. Noel and his friend Tommy Morgan left their homes to go up to the Henry Taggart memorial hall on the Springfield Road beside 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 memorial Hall. A number of Paratroopers came running out with their fifles on there hips and open fire all around them.
Everybody there went running for there lives. Noel ran down the Manse Field when he was shot and dropped to the ground. A while later an army Saracen reversed into the field and two soldiers got out, one with an SLR Rifle, the other with a 9mm browning high power pistol. The soldier with the pistol was seen opening fire on Noel Phillips as he was lying on the ground. Noel was found to be dead with gun shot wounds behind each ear, a well known paratrooper execution.


Joseph Murphy

Born 29-Jan-1929 Murdered Aug -1971 

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, Bridgid, Kathleen, Francis, Patsy and Joseph. The family lived in the ‘lonely’ off the Falls Road in Belfast.

As a young boy Josie attended St Colmgal’s primary school, and discovered a new hobby, boxing. Growing up this became more than just a hobby and he ended up a very keen amateur boxer, who fought for the local immaculate 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 beginning 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 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 short-lived. Tragedy again hit the family when baby Michael 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 ranging 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.

Father. Hugh Mullan

Murdered 9 - Aug -1971 Age: 40

JFR Hugh Mullan, a curate from Corpus Christi, was killded as he tried to help his neighbour Bobby Clarke who was shot in the back as he tried to get children to safety from an attack from Springmartin an adjoining protestant estate.
FR Hugh Mullan was shot by soldiers at the top of flats in Springmartin whilst waving a makeshift white handikchief. Witnesses said Fr Hugh Mullan could be heard praying as he lay dying for a least 10 minutes.
He had spent that day ensuring that the catholic Springfield Park and New Barnsley estate did not retaliate to provocation from loyalists in the neighnbouring Springmartin estate. There had been communication between FR Hugh Mullan and FR Marsellis with the army and police throughout the day partially before his death..
John Laverty

Born 3-Apr-1951 Murdered Aug -1971

John was born on the 3rd of April 1951. He was the fifth child of an eventual eleven to be born to parents Mary and Thomas Laverty. Originally from Ardoyne the family thought it was a God send when they were allocated a house in Ballymurphy, after spending years in one room with seven of their children. Three weeks before the move to Ballymurphy twins were born - a boy and a girl sadly the baby girl died at birth. John was five years old when the family left ‘48 Brook Field Street’ and moved to Ballymurphy. Along with his brothers and sisters he continued to travel to Holy Cross Primary School. John was 9 when his little brother - Gerard aged 18 months died on the 18th of December 1960. John could not understand why his little brother was no longer there. John went on to St Gabriel’s Secondary School and on leaving at the age of 15 he got his first job.

John was six feet tall, and his height earned him the name ‘Big John’. He will always be remembered by his family as thoughtful and good natured. John had so many dreams, he wanted to save money and buy a motor bike - but his daddy talked him out of it and he decided to take driving lessons instead. The photograph for his driving license was the last ever taken of him alive. Before his death John worked for Belfast City Council and got on well with all of his workmates. He never drank alcohol but he loved a bet on the horses. John loved music and even fancied himself as a bit of a singer. John would often be heard singing ‘Needles and Pins’ in his bedroom and resulted in his sisters banging the walls as they didn’t fancy his talent as much as he did.

The last summer of John’s life was spent having water fights in the street with the friends that he grew up with. He enjoyed this as he usually got away with soaking everyone - being 6ft helped, that was until one sunny afternoon he was coming into the street after work, and they were all waiting there for him with a bath filled with water. John was lifted and placed in the bath of water. He came out drenched, water dripping everywhere with a huge smile on his face. John’s family all have different memories of him but his younger sisters remember the last time that they saw him. John left his young sisters at the local Community Centre where they had to wait on a bus to transfer them to the Kildare refugee camp in the south of Ireland. They returned home on the 13th of August and John was buried on the 16th of August. They say that time heals, John’s family don’t agree. You learn to go on with life, but scratch the surface and the pain for them is as raw as the day he was murdered. 
Paddy McCarthy

Born 3-Apr-1951 Murdered Aug -1971

Paddy McCarthy was originally from England. He was married to a woman named Jan, and they were both Quakers. In 1970 Paddy and his wife moved to Ballymurphy as paddy had recently got a job in the newly built BTA (Ballymurphy Tenants Association). Paddy was a youth leader with the Ballymurphy Tenants Association. The local people of Ballymurphy had a great respect for Paddy. He was treated as a true friend, as the people saw paddy as someone who understood them. He understood the problems and difficulties that the catholic community faced on a daily basis. Paddy worked hard to help his neighbours, setting up youth clubs and organising activities for the children of the area. Following the introduction of Internment (a new law introduced by the then British Prime Minister - Brian Falkner, to indefinitely detain suspected terrorists without trial) on the 9th August 1971, a curfew was imposed on the people of Ballymurphy on the 11th of August. This prevented essential bread and milk vans from entering the area. Knowing full well that the local families were dependant on these deliveries .The paratroopers opened fire and paddy tried to get a cease fire order from the commanding officer to enable the children of the area to be evacuated. He stepped out with a Red Cross flag tied to a broomstick. He flag was shot out of his hand, and he began to bleed quite heavily. When Paddy returned to the BTA he commented that ‘even the Jerri’s respected that flag’. Still he was determined to try his best for the people of Ballymurphy and while still bleeding heavily he loaded milk into crates and onto a trolley. Paddy started to walk through the streets calling out ‘milk for babies’. On his journey he was told by two paratroopers to get back. One of them put his gun to Paddy’s head while the other kicked at the trolley knocking over one of the crates and smashing bottles of milk. Paddy lifted the crate back onto the trolley and walked away from the Para’s facing towards them and said if you are going to shoot me, you are going to shoot me from the front. Paddy continued, only to suffer a fatal heart attack in a nearby cul-de-sac and die.
Edward Doherty

Murdered 10 - Aug -1971 Age: 28

Edward Doherty came from Iveagh Street off the Falls Road. He lived for his wife.... and four children and worked for the Belfast City Corporation.
Eddie called up to the Turf Lodge estate to check on his elderly parents. On his his way home he encountered a riot situation as he tried to get to Brittons Parade off the Whiterock Road.
At that point a British Soldier in an army digger opened the cabin door, reached out with a rifle and fired one shot which fatally wounded Eddie in the chest. Eddie died within a few minutes.

 John Mc Kerr

Died/ Murdered 20 - Aug - 1971

John McKerr was working as a joiner in the newly build Corpus Christi Church on the third day of internment. He had told his fearful wife that if there was any bother he could stay in the church. John took a break from his work to allow the funeral of a local youth who tragically drowned a day earlier take place in peace and waited outside. The Andersonstown father of eight was shot in the head once as he stood outside Corpus Christi, but did not die until nine days later.
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 Frank Quinn

Born 21-Apr-1952 Murdered 09-Aug -1971

My brother Frank was born on the 21 April 1952 at 2 Coates Place in the Divis St area. He was baptized in St Mary’s Church, Chapel Lane and went to Christian Brother’s Primary School in Divis St. When our parents Tommy and Grace moved to Stranmillis with their six children, Irene, Annette, Liam, Frank, Marion and Pat, Frank went to St Augustine’s School on the Ravenhill Road. To say that he went there was only sometimes as he and his best mate Charlie McReynolds would go Mitchiny School and the truant officer would call at the door and Frank would be in big trouble with my da. Frank had many friend and loved life, he was a practical joker and full of fun. He was a supporter of Glasgow Celtic and Everton. He fancied himself as a good Mouth Organ Player, but I only ever heard him play one tune –The Red River Valley. Frank met Ann when they were young. Ann was the pound Loney Area. They were married when they were both 17 in St Peter’s. Their daughter Angela was born soon after they were very happy. After living in a few house’s they got a flat in Moyard. It was great for them and Angela. Happily Ann was also expecting another child.

Tragedy struck on the 9th August –Internment 1971. As Frank was helping Father Hugh Mullan attend to a wounded man, Frank and Fr Mullan were shot dead by an unknown member of the Parachute Regiment.

We his family where devastated, my parents lives were never the same. Their hearts were broken. Because of the sectarian attitudes of my parent neighbours, Frank was waked in Divis, outside the window there was a gun battle raging, everyone at the wake moved away from the window, my mother never moved. She would not leave her son alone in his coffin and stood not caring what else might happen.
My Sister in law Ann had to carry on without her husband. Their daughter Frances was born shortly after her father’s death. A daddy she never knew. Ann brought up two beautiful daughters on her own, Ann never remarried.
Because of sectarianism, father and mother had to leave their home and moved to the New Lodge.

Frank missed seeing his daughters grow up. He missed walking them down the Aisle on their Wedding day’s. He missed seeing his gorgeous grandchildren.

We, Frank’s family will never forget him. There is not a day goes by we don’t think of him. Frank was a good son, a loving husband, father and a very dear brother. Frank loved life and we loved him.



….”Internment - indefinite imprisonment without trial - was reintroduced into the North of Ireland on August 9 1971 at 4am. Three hundred and forty people were dragged out of their houses across the Greater Ballymurphy area of west Belfast, many of whom would not be released for years. Hundreds of homes were wrecked in the process and the entire community was effectively terrorised by the British Army.

Later that day, as the full horror of what had just taken place began to sink in, loyalists from the neighbouring Springmartin estate began to form into a crowd to taunt their nationalist neighbours across the road in Springfield Park, shouting slogans such as “Where’s your daddy?”

John Teggart, the son of Belfast local Danny Teggart , picks up the story : “The crowd in Springmartin, as the night went on, grew to maybe 400. They had been stoning the houses that back onto Springfield Park and a lot of anxiety was building up,” he explains.

“At the top end, most of the houses were getting wrecked and stoned, so people had moved out down to the lower end of the park. A man named Bobby Clarke suggested moving out of the area altogether and started to evacuate the youngest first. He went out on his own across the field with an 18-month-old baby and brought her over to Moyard Park. As he was returning a soldier from the Parachute Regiment shot him in the back. Friar Hugh Mullen then phoned the army and told them there was a wounded man on the field and asked their soldiers to stop shooting. He then left the house and, waving a white cloth, went out onto the field to issue the last rites to Bobby. Bobby said he wasn’t dying, so Friar Mullen went back towards his house to phone the ambulance, still waving the white cloth. That was when he was shot.

A young man named Frank Quinn then ran onto the field to help and met a barrage of bullets. He did a heroic act helping his neighbours and he was shot in the back of the head.
At the same time as this was going on, my daddy and several other people were down the road near the army barracks.
All of a sudden the paratroopers came out of the main gates of the barracks and started firing at anybody, anybody at all. A young man called Noel Philips was wounded, fell and screamed out. A woman named Mrs Connolly went to help but when she got to him she was shot in the face. The whole left-hand side of her face was taken off with the force of the bullet.

My daddy was wounded in the leg initially according to eyewitness accounts. He was then shot 14 times whilst he lay out in the open, from a distance of less than 50 yards. They also shot an 11-year-old boy in the groin.

The soldiers then came out of the barracks in a Saracen (armoured truck) and two soldiers got out, one with an SLR, one with a handgun. The one with the handgun walked up to Noel Philips, who was lying on the field wounded, and executed him with a bullet behind each ear.

I can say these things with confidence because we have seen the autopsy and there was a 9mm bullet in him from a Browning pistol. This is from experts. And our eyewitness accounts back this up.

Then there was Joan Connolly. One of the soldiers went round the side of the house and claimed later that he found a woman who was obviously dead. It was later found out that she hadn’t been shot once, but four times - in the belly, in the shoulder and the thigh, as well as in the face. The other soldier grabbed a man called Gerald Russell from where he was injured behind a pillar and just started shooting him at point-blank range with the rifle. He was shot four times. Then they started piling the bodies into the Saracen, both dead and wounded.

Joseph Murphy, who had been shot in the leg, was taken in and repeatedly beaten. He died a week later. Because the injuries he received during the beating were so bad, he couldn’t be operated on. He died from gangrene. The whole of his body was completely black from where he was bruised and he told his wife on his death bed that they shot rubber bullets into his wound as well.

Davy Callaghan, an ex-navy man, was also taken out of the Saracen. There was a gauntlet of paratroopers waiting for him. He was taken out and held on the ground whilst they took it in turns to kick him severely between his legs. He ended up in hospital with a cage round his lower body.

Gerald Russell was taken into a room, where he was beaten repeatedly and hit with rifle butts. They actually put the rifle muzzle into one of his wounds and picked him up with it. They then jumped off the bed repeatedly onto him. This was a man wounded four times. He said while he was there, there was a naked man, thrown onto the floor beside him. He says this man was obviously dead or dying. We believe it was Danny Teggart, my daddy. He said what they did to him, bouncing off the beds, they did to my daddy as well. The dead and the wounded were both beaten.

Six people in the space of around half an hour or an hour were murdered by the paratroopers.”

In the two days that followed, another five were killed or were later to die from their wounds - four after being shot and one from a massive heart attack after being subjected to a mock execution.

None of the deaths was ever properly investigated. British Military police interviewed their colleagues in the days that followed and those statements were taken at face value by the Royal Ulster Constabulary. Those killed were all said to be gunmen.

“From their interviews there are total discrepancies,” says Teggart, “they said that Mrs Connolly (a 45-year-old mother of eight) was a superwoman, that after dropping her gun she jumped over their heads with a submachine gun and starting firing again. They said she used at least two firearms to shoot them.”

In a pattern starting to become depressingly familiar, those reports were then reported as fact in the media. Nor has the official story of events been changed to this day. “The only way it’s going to change is through the likes of what we’re doing with the campaign. Our goal is an independent international investigation, independent of the state. The evidence is there that this was murder, this was a war crime. There were 14 people killed less than six months later in Bloody Sunday by the same soldiers, the same regiment - 1 Para. If Ballymurphy had been dealt with, Bloody Sunday could never have happened.”

The campaign has made progress in recent months and now has the full support of both nationalist parties as well as the foreign minister of the Dail (sic) . They are also due to meet the British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (sic) next month. But perhaps most importantly, the campaign has received important new evidence from the Catholic church.

“They came up with some archives that hadn’t been seen before - including a report and witness statements,” says Teggart, “one of those reports says that you could indict the paratroopers in Springmartin for shooting dead Frank Quinn.”

The Saville inquiry has also boosted the families’ confidence and actually recommended that the Ballymurphy killings be investigated.

“You have to remember that Bloody Sunday wasn’t an isolated incident. They had already killed 11 people in Ballymurphy before going on to kill 14 in Derry. They then went on to kill five people - three teenagers, the father of the boy shot in the field the previous year and another Catholic priest. This was in May, less than a year later, in the same area just yards from where John McKerr was murdered near the church.

You would think that every murder should be investigated. But if your loved ones are murdered by the state it’s an uphill struggle. You have to almost prove what happened before you even get any investigation, and that’s the struggle we’re involved in at the moment.”