Interactive Tour – location 2 – The Manse
Posted by john in
Tension was rising in the community as local youths fought back against the army’s horrendous campaign. Families were fleeing their homes in Springfield park as they came under attack from loyalist mobs approaching from the direction of Springmartin. Parents frantically searched for their children. Local men were still being removed from their homes, beaten and interned without reason. All this and at the same time the people of Ballymurphy were trying to live a normal life.
Local people had started gathering at the bottom of Springfield Park, an area known locally as the Manse. Some of those gathering included Joseph Murphy who was returning from the wake of a local boy who drowned in a swimming accident. Joan Connolly and her neighbour Anna Breen stopped as they searched for their daughters. Daniel Teggart also stopped as he returned from his brother’s house which was close to Springfield Park. Daniel had gone to his brother’s house to check on his brother’s safety as his house had been attacked as local youth targeted the Henry Taggart Army base located near by. Noel Phillips, a young man of 19 years, having just finished work walked to Springfield park to check on the local situation.
Without warning the British Army opened fire from the direct of the Henry Taggart Army base. The shooting was aimed directly at the gathering. In the panic people dispersed in all directions. Many people took refuge in a field directly opposite the army base. The army continued to fire and intensified their attack on this field.
Noel Phillips was shot in the back side. An injury that was later described in his autopsy as a flesh wound. As he lay crying for help, Joan Connolly, a mother of 8 went to his aid. Eye witnesses heard Joan call out to Noel saying “It’s alright son, I’m coming to you”.
In her attempt to aid Noel, Joan was shot in the face. When the gun fire stopped Noel Phillips, Joan Connolly, Joseph Murphy and many others lay wounded. Daniel Teggart, a father of 14, lay dead having been shot 14 times.
A short time later a British Army vehicle left the Henry Taggart Army base and entered the field. A solider exited the vehicle, and to the dismay of the local eye witnesses, executed the already wounded Noel Phillips by shooting him once behind each ear with a hand gun.
Soldiers then began lifting the wounded and dead and throwing them into the back of the vehicle. Joseph Murphy, who had been shot once in the leg, was also lifted along with the other victims and taken to the Henry Taggart Army base. Those lifted, including Joseph Murphy, were severely beaten. Soldiers brutally punched and kicked the victims. Soldiers jumped off bunks on top of victims and aggravated the victims’ existing wounds by forcing objects in to them. Mr Murphy was shot at close range with a rubber bullet into the wound he first received in the field. Mr Murphy died three weeks later from his injuries.
Joan Connolly, who had not been lifted by the soldiers when they first entered the field, lay wounded where she had been shot. Eye witnesses claimed Joan cried out for help for many hours. Joan was eventually removed from the field around 2:30am on 10th August. Autopsy reports state that Joan, having been repeatedly shot and bled to death.
You are in The Manse, location 2 of 6, you can continue to the next location below, then scan the QR code at that location for information.