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'Visiting time came to an end in the hospital... then there was gunfire'

June Proctor
June Proctor

RUC officer John Proctor was shot dead by the IRA after visiting his wife June and their newborn baby in the maternity ward of Mid-Ulster hospital in September 1981. June said:

"I met Johnny one night at an Orange hall. There was dance on and I was about fourteen-and-a-half. He brought me home. From then on, we became inseparable. We'd run together with all our friends, and we played darts in the British Legion here in the village.

"He had a car. We got out and were fit to go to all the dances. He was cute and genuine and the softest-hearted person you ever met. There was no badness or bitterness in him.

"We got engaged at 17 and we married in 1977. Two years later, our first child was born. Then we were due another one.

"It was the hunger strike and Johnny was in the police.

"Our second child was born on September 9, 1981. Visiting time came to an end in the hospital. I said goodbye to Johnny and left him at the door. He went around the corner. Within a flash, there was gunfire. I thought, 'Jesus, God they've shot him.'

"They put 17 bullets into his back. They had waited on him in the car park. Johnny was only 25. Life was lonely. The loneliest was at night time when I'd locked the door and went up the stairs to bed.

"I would still run into the killer. He would wave and smirk. I think karma will come back and get that boy."

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