Friday, 1 April 2011


 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.
about 2 months ago · Delete Post

 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.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, could you change the colour of the writing as it is unreadable?