Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

I blame Shankill bombers for the loyalist revenge killing of Martin

Lorraine with daughter Amanda, who was five weeks old when Martin was shot
Lorraine with daughter Amanda, who was five weeks old when Martin was shot
Martin Moran was shot dead by the UFF
Mark Rodgers, one of two men killed in a UFF gun attack on a council depot in West Belfast

The partner of a young taxi driver murdered by loyalist terrorists said she blames the Shankill bombers for his death.

Martin Moran (22) was shot twice in the head as he delivered a food order to a house in Vernon Court, off Donegall Pass in south Belfast, less than 12 hours after the IRA attack on Frizzell's fish shop.

Mr Moran, a Catholic from Ava Street in the Ormeau Road area, was the father of a five-week-old baby girl.

The taxi driver died two days after he was shot in the UFF attack on October 25, 1993.

His was the first death in a bloody backlash from loyalist killers, with six innocent people murdered within the following week of the Shankill blast.

Seven days from the bomb, a UFF gang opened fire in a bar in Greysteel, Co Londonderry, which resulted in eight deaths.

On the 20th anniversary of his murder, Mr Moran's partner Lorraine Girvan said she had been robbed of her soulmate and her daughter Amanda of a father.

As well as those involved in the callous murder of Mr Moran, Ms Girvan said she also blamed Shankill bombers Thomas Begley and Sean Kelly for his death.

She described as stomach-churning the sight of a plaque being unveiled to Thomas Begley in Ardoyne last Sunday.

He was killed in the blast at Frizzell's fish shop on the Shankill Road as he and accomplice Kelly planted the device.

"The people of the Shankill were devastated as were those in the aftermath, the lives taken of those innocent people," said Ms Girvan.

"What gutted me even more was the plaque (erected to Begley). What is he? A 'hero'? What is he a hero of? Murdering innocent people? It hurts you more when you see things like that.

"If those two (Begley and Kelly) hadn't gone out that day and caused that horrific Shankill bombing my Martin wouldn't have been shot that night in the first retaliation.

"We would still have him here," she said. "My child would be sitting here at 20 with her father, knowing him. I could have had more children, who knows?"

Mr Moran was attacked at around 11.40pm on the evening of the Shankill bombing. He had been delivering a Chinese meal from a restaurant off the Dublin Road to a house near Donegall Pass.

The food order was bogus and he was shot by UFF gunmen.

Ms Girvan said 20 years on she still struggled on a daily basis to cope with the loss of her partner and best friend.

"You're empty, you're lost," she said. "Your life is empty, stolen from you.

"He was a gentle, loving person, very kind and a fella who would do anything for anybody. He had the most lovely big smile.

"You don't know what your life would have brought you. Instead you're crushed, but you have to try and be strong.

"We were robbed and for what? It's still going on today. What was it all for? What was all the innocent life taken for? You put a brave face on and a pretend smile, pretend you're coping and just try to get through your day."

Amanda has a picture of her father's face tattooed on her forearm with the word 'Daddy' below.

"You feel lost in a way," she said. "I would love to know what it feels like to have my daddy around, but I never will."

The loyalist murder spree culminated in the Greysteel massacre on October 30.

Eight people died after the UFF gunmen burst into the Rising Sun bar in the Co Derry village and opened fire on revellers enjoying a Halloween party after shouting "trick or treat".

Seven days of bloody carnage against Catholics

Loyalist terrorists vowed retaliation for the bombing of Frizzell's fish shop on the Shankill which left 10 dead, including the IRA bomber, in October 1993.

They launched a series of ruthless attacks on Catholics across Northern Ireland in the days after, including the murders of two council workers, young brothers, a taxi driver and pensioner. The week ended with the Greysteel massacre and the loss of another eight lives.

The first murder was carried out just hours after the Shankill atrocity. Martin Moran (22) was shot twice in the head as he delivered a food order. A Catholic from Ava Street, he was the father of a five-week-old baby girl.

The taxi driver died two days after the UFF attack, on October 25. His daughter Amanda said: "I know I am not the only person in Northern Ireland that feels robbed because many people have lost family members, but he was my daddy and I was only five weeks. That is my daddy, my daddy should be here."

Sean Fox, a 72-year-old father-of-four, was shot at his home in Harmin Park in Glengormley on Monday, October 25. Mr Fox was honorary president of St Enda's GAA club. His family said he had been shot because he was a Catholic.

Friends of Mr Fox described him as "quiet and well-liked".

He had been tortured before being murdered.

The following day, two council staff were killed when loyalist gunmen opened fire at a cleansing depot at Kennedy Way.

The attack took place at 7.30am on Tuesday, October 26.

A survivor said James Cameron, a father-of-three, had opened the gates to allow another worker into the site when the killers pushed through. They fired around 60 shots from a rifle and machine-gun as approximately 25 workers ran for their lives. Mr Cameron was hit as he tried to take cover behind a skip.

Mark Rodgers (28), a father-of-two, died after being shot while sheltering behind a lorry. Five others were injured. It was reported at the time Mr Cameron's wife worked at the Royal Victoria Hospital and had treated victims of the Shankill bomb.

There was to be further bloodshed on October 29 when two young brothers were murdered as they watched television with their 11-year-old sister. Gerard Cairns (22) and his brother Rory (18) died when at least two UVF gunmen burst into the home in Bleary, Co Armagh.

At their funeral, an uncle told mourners: "It is long past the time that the problems of our country, of our countries, should be resolved.

"How else should we expect to resolve these problems but by all of us sitting down and talking together, communicating with each other?"

On Saturday, October 30 – one week on from the Shankill bomb – UFF gunmen opened fire at the Rising Sun bar in Greysteel.

One gunman called out "trick or treat" before firing an AK-47 at those enjoying a Halloween party.

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