Ballymurphy families meet with American Ancient Order of Hibernians
Posted by john in
On Sunday morning, the American Ancient Order of Hibernians visited the Ballymurphy area to pay their respects to the victims of the Ballymurphy Massacre.
Upon visiting each of the spots where the victims were murdered, the AOH promised to take what they had learned back home to the Irish American community.
The families of the Ballymurphy victims met with two AOH representatives who heard testimonies from them about how their loved ones were shot
The representatives were told in great detail how the victims met their fate at the hands of those who were meant to be protecting them.
The families outlined how their loved ones were murdered in their own area some 47 years ago.
The National Vice-President of the AOH, Danny O’Connell and Secretary Jere Cole heard how Father Hugh Mullan was shot as he waved a white handkerchief ,brothers of the late Frank Quinn, Liam and Pat went into detail of how frank was murdered going to the aid of Fr Mullan and the wounded Bobby Clarke.
They were told how Danny Teggart was shot fourteen times with a high velocity rifles and how Joan Connolly was shot by the army and then left out in the open to bleed to death.
The victim’s families showed Mr O’Connell and Mr Cole photographs of Ballymurphy around the time of the massacre. These photographs demonstrate the close proximity of Father Mullan’s house and the field he was shot in. They also show how close the vantage points of the paratroopers were.
The families visited the manse field where four of the Ballymurphy victims were shot, among them was Mrs Connolly and Mr Teggart.
Mrs Connolly’s daughter Philomena spoke about her mother and how she was murdered on that day along with six others.
The families along with Mr O’Connell and Mr Cole, visited the other spots where the victims had lost their lives.
John Laverty’s sister went into detail abut how her brother was shot dead along with another man Joseph Corr.
Terry was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment on that day for riotous behaviour. Some years later this conviction was overturned.
The delegation were also informed of Pat McCarthy and John McKerr who also lost their lives at the hands of the British Paratroopers on the third day of the masscare
The families finished the tour at the spot on the Whiterock Road where Eddie Doherty was killed. Eddie’s sister Kathleen gave detail about her brother’s death and how he was shot in the back also.
John Teggart, son of Danny Teggart said:
“It was some hard-lifting for the two visitors from the Ancient Order of Hibernians but I do think that it brought home to them that this did happen.
“On that first day, on August 9th, six people were murdered. This happened on a bright summers night and it happened at close range. They were carefully aimed shots, direct shots, and in the end, there was no forensic evidence to suggest that any of our loved ones were anywhere near rifles.
“There was no ammunition recovered, no guns recovered and there were no security personnel shot in that proximity. This all proves that our loved ones were killed, they were shot in the back.”
Mr Taggart has said that there is a campaign of fake news happening by some newspapers at the minute and that some politicians are insisting that the Ballymurphy Massacre has already been investigated and calling for an amnesty for these soldiers.
“The sole people who investigated Ballymurphy were the Royal Military Police. When politicians say that Ballymurphy was investigated they are referring to the investigation done by the friends of those who were being interviewed who murdered our loved ones.
“Just like the Widgery inquiry, if they had taken statements off of these soldiers and it didn’t sum up as the Royal Military Police liked, they crafted them to suit their version of events.
“All the RUC did was take photographs of our loved ones in the morgue and maybe statements from those who had identified them.
“Anybody who says that Ballymurphy was investigated needs to think about the brutality of the Royal Military Police over those three days in Ballymurphy. Then they can see if it was a proper investigation.”
The Ballymurphy Massacre Families would like to thank Danny , Jere and the AOH for their continued support.