| 15.7°C Belfast

Ballymurphy massacre wounded thrown in Army vehicles 'like animals', inquest told

Close

Families of the 10 people shot dead in Ballymurphy in 1971 attending their inquests yesterday at Belfast Coroner’s Court

Families of the 10 people shot dead in Ballymurphy in 1971 attending their inquests yesterday at Belfast Coroner’s Court

Photopress Belfast

Families of the 10 people shot dead in Ballymurphy in 1971 attending their inquests yesterday at Belfast Coroner’s Court

An eyewitness heard soldiers shout "kill the b******s" before wounded civilians were thrown into an Army vehicle like "animals", the Ballymurphy inquest has heard.

In a statement originally submitted to a 1972 inquest, the now deceased Desmond Crone described how he lay on the ground for almost an hour to dodge a hail of bullets while he was out searching for his son Raymond.

His wife's cousin, father-of-12, Joseph Murphy (41), was assisting him with the search and was killed on August 9, 1971 after the Parachute Regiment opened fire on a crowd of people standing in a field near Henry Taggart Memorial Hall.

Mr Crone said he was just five yards away when an armoured military vehicle drove into the field to pick up injured people and heard a soldier saying: "We've got five."

Mr Crone also detailed the chilling words he claimed came from the mouths of soldiers.

"Kill the b******s," he recalled hearing them say. "They threw them into the back like animals."

Father-of-13 Daniel Teggart (44), mother-of-eight Joan Connolly (44) and window cleaner Noel Phillips (19) were also shot dead on the first day of internment.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

The statement, which was read to the coroner by barrister David Heraghty, stated that Mr Crone and Mr Murphy stopped to talk to other individuals, including Joan Connolly.

She was also out looking for her children before she was shot in the face.

"Then all of a sudden, the Army opened fire on us," Mr Crone said.

Close

Riots : Belfast. January 1971.  Soldiers frisking passengers and driver of a car on the Springfield Road, near Ballymurphy.  (14/01/1971)

Riots : Belfast. January 1971. Soldiers frisking passengers and driver of a car on the Springfield Road, near Ballymurphy. (14/01/1971)

Riots: Belfast. August 1970.  Soldiers shelter behind their riot shields during rioting at Ballymurphy.  (04/08/70)

Riots: Belfast. August 1970. Soldiers shelter behind their riot shields during rioting at Ballymurphy. (04/08/70)

Riots : Belfast. August 1970.  The common sight in the Roman Catholic estate at Ballymurphy, Belfast, as young rioters attack the army with missiles during the troubles.  (04/08/70)

Riots : Belfast. August 1970. The common sight in the Roman Catholic estate at Ballymurphy, Belfast, as young rioters attack the army with missiles during the troubles. (04/08/70)

Ballymurphy: troops stand by at the junction of Springfield and Whiterock Roads  (20/09/1970)

Ballymurphy: troops stand by at the junction of Springfield and Whiterock Roads (20/09/1970)

Riots : Belfast. January 1971.  Catholic housing estate, Ballymurphy.  (15/01/1971)

Riots : Belfast. January 1971. Catholic housing estate, Ballymurphy. (15/01/1971)

Mourners file past the coffin of Father Hugh Mullan, one of the 10 people killed (PA Archive)

Mourners file past the coffin of Father Hugh Mullan, one of the 10 people killed (PA Archive)

PA Archive/PA Images

Father Hugh Mullan. Shot at Moyard Park.  9/8/1971  THE FUNERAL HEARSE CARRYING THE BODY OF FATHER HUGH MULLAN TRAVELS ALONG THE ROAD IN BALLYMURPHY ESTATE.  12/8/1971

Father Hugh Mullan. Shot at Moyard Park. 9/8/1971 THE FUNERAL HEARSE CARRYING THE BODY OF FATHER HUGH MULLAN TRAVELS ALONG THE ROAD IN BALLYMURPHY ESTATE. 12/8/1971

Joseph Murphy was one of 10 people shot dead by British soldiers in West Belfast in 1971

Joseph Murphy was one of 10 people shot dead by British soldiers in West Belfast in 1971

Pacemaker Press 17/6/10 John McKerr  who is one  of the 11 people died in the Ballymurphy Massacre in 1971 in West Belfast

Pacemaker Press 17/6/10 John McKerr who is one of the 11 people died in the Ballymurphy Massacre in 1971 in West Belfast

Pacemaker Press 17/6/10  Fr  Hugh Mullan  who is one  of the 11 people died in the Ballymurphy Massacre in 1971 in West Belfast

Pacemaker Press 17/6/10 Fr Hugh Mullan who is one of the 11 people died in the Ballymurphy Massacre in 1971 in West Belfast

Pacemaker Press 17/6/10 Joseph Corr  who is one  of the 11 people died in the Ballymurphy Massacre in 1971 in West Belfast

Pacemaker Press 17/6/10 Joseph Corr who is one of the 11 people died in the Ballymurphy Massacre in 1971 in West Belfast

Pacemaker Press 17/6/10 Danny Teggart  who is one  of the 11 people died in the Ballymurphy Massacre in 1971 in West Belfast

Pacemaker Press 17/6/10 Danny Teggart who is one of the 11 people died in the Ballymurphy Massacre in 1971 in West Belfast

Pacemaker Press 17/6/10  Danny Teggart who is one  of the 11 people died in the Ballymurphy Massacre in 1971 in West Belfast

Pacemaker Press 17/6/10 Danny Teggart who is one of the 11 people died in the Ballymurphy Massacre in 1971 in West Belfast

Pacemaker Press 17/6/10 Danny Teggart  who is one  of the 11 people died in the Ballymurphy Massacre in 1971 in West Belfast

Pacemaker Press 17/6/10 Danny Teggart who is one of the 11 people died in the Ballymurphy Massacre in 1971 in West Belfast

©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 25th January 2012 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye.  Ballymurphy massacre relatives call for a meeting with the Prime Minister, David Cameron.  10 people were shot dead by soldiers in west Belfast in August 1971.  The victims, which included a priest and a mother-of-eight, were killed over the course of three days in August 1971 by members of the Parachute Regiment during Operation Demetrius, when people suspected of paramilitary activity were interned.  Relatives Rita Bonner, John Teggart and Briege Voyle pictured at the top of the Whiterock Road in west Belfast beside a mural depicting the shootings.

©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 25th January 2012 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Ballymurphy massacre relatives call for a meeting with the Prime Minister, David Cameron. 10 people were shot dead by soldiers in west Belfast in August 1971. The victims, which included a priest and a mother-of-eight, were killed over the course of three days in August 1971 by members of the Parachute Regiment during Operation Demetrius, when people suspected of paramilitary activity were interned. Relatives Rita Bonner, John Teggart and Briege Voyle pictured at the top of the Whiterock Road in west Belfast beside a mural depicting the shootings.

/

Riots : Belfast. January 1971. Soldiers frisking passengers and driver of a car on the Springfield Road, near Ballymurphy. (14/01/1971)

He said Mrs Connolly had already started running towards Springhill Road when the gunfire started before she turned and shouted: "I'm hit in the eye."

Mr Crone described how Daniel Teggart also shouted out when he was hit while running for his life. "We could not get out to bring him back," he added.

He was later able to pull Mr Teggart away from the chaos, but it was too late. Mr Crone said he and others defied a two-minute evacuation warning to grab a young boy left lying in the field that night. "It turned out he was not injured, but suffered a cramp," he added.

Mr Murphy was shot in the pelvis and developed septicaemia after his right leg was amputated - he died 13 days after being shot.

Many of the statements given by relatives and eyewitnesses denied claims by the Army that those who died were armed or had been throwing stones. Medical reports also show that swabs taken from the hands of the deceased failed to detect the presence of lead.

Statements relating to the shooting of Shorts worker Joseph Corr (43) and Belfast Corporation employee John Laverty (20), were also read out.

They were shot at separate locations on Whiterock Road on August 11.

Mr Corr's widow Eileen described how she and her husband had left the house after being woken by the sound of "bin lids rattling" at around 3.40am. She returned home to look after the couple's seven children after hearing shots, but her husband never made it back.

Following a desperate search, she found him in Musgrave Military Park, where he was being treated for injuries to his stomach, intestines and lungs.

Mrs Corr said she was supervised by military staff on every hospital visit and was unable to have a conversation with her husband, who was transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital on August 14. He died on August 27 before doctors could operate.


Top Videos



Privacy