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