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Bloody Sunday killer Paras suspected over Ballymurphy murders

Soldiers ‘shot at least two in Belfast atrocity’

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INNOCENT VICTIM: Fr Hugh Mullan

INNOCENT VICTIM: Fr Hugh Mullan

PA Wire

Frank Quinn

Frank Quinn

Pacemaker

A soldier attacks a protester

A soldier attacks a protester

RAMPAGE: A number of civilians arrested by the Army are marched in a line, with their hands on their heads, through the Bogside on Bloody Sunday, January 31, 1972

RAMPAGE: A number of civilians arrested by the Army are marched in a line, with their hands on their heads, through the Bogside on Bloody Sunday, January 31, 1972

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INNOCENT VICTIM: Fr Hugh Mullan

Two soldiers who shot up to 10 civilians in Derry on Bloody Sunday are suspected of killing at least two innocent men during the Ballymurphy Massacre.

But relatives of Frank Quinn and Fr Hugh Mullan will never know the truth because of the British Army’s inability to provide cipher lists to their inquests showing which squaddies opened fire on the day.

The men were gunned down in August 1971 by snipers firing from the roof of the Henry Taggart Memorial Hall, which overlooked the Ballymurphy estate in west Belfast.

Inquests into their deaths and those of nine others which concluded last Tuesday found all of the victims were entirely innocent.

The same soldiers from 1 Para who shot dead Mr Quinn and Fr Mullan were also present when Joseph Murphy and Danny Teggart were seriously wounded and taken into military custody, where they died.

Four months later, in January 1972, the regiment was brought into Derry on Bloody Sunday, killing 14 unarmed civilians. Two soldiers were named by colleagues as shooting up to 10 people.

Some were targeted in sniper attacks, similar to how Frank Quinn and Fr Hugh Mullan were gunned down during the Ballymurphy Massacre.

There are strong suspicions that the two soldiers were responsible for some of the west Belfast shootings, but the army’s inability to locate cipher lists proving who pulled the trigger means the truth will never be known.

This failure was lambasted by coroner Mrs Justice Keegan, whose lengthy inquest cleared the names of the Ballymurphy dead.

She criticised a lack of military evidence about the killings, saying efforts to get evidence, including a list of which soldiers had fired on the day, had been “hampered” and were “not forthcoming”.

John Teggart, whose father Danny Teggart was shot by paratroopers and then dragged to their memorial hall base, said the army’s failure to hand over cipher lists was just another example of a cover-up.

“It means we will never know the truth,” he told Sunday Life.

Danny Teggart, a father of 13, was shot a total of 14 times. His family believe some of the bullet wounds were inflicted after he was wounded and taken into military custody. They also revealed how his name was blackened by the Army, which put around false stories about how he had bullets in his pockets.

Following the inquest verdicts, which completely cleared the Ballymurphy Massacre victims of any wrongdoing,
Mr Teggart said the focus of the families was on civil action against the Ministry of Defence.

“We’ve already initiated civil action and are meeting with our legal teams about what needs to be done,” he explained.


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