Paddy McCarthy was originally from England. He was married to a woman named Jan McCarthy. In 1970 Paddy and his wife moved to Ballymurphy as Paddy had recently got a job in the newly built BTA (Ballymurphy Tenants Association). Paddy was a youth leader with the Ballymurphy Tenants Association. The local people of Ballymurphy had a great respect for Paddy. He was treated as a true friend, as the people saw Paddy as someone who understood them. He understood the problems and difficulties that the Catholic community faced on a daily basis. Paddy worked hard to help his neighbours, setting up youth clubs and organising activities for the children of the area.
Following the introduction of Internment on the 9th August 1971, a curfew was imposed on the people of Ballymurphy on the 11th of August. This prevented essential bread and milk vans from entering the area. Knowing full well that the local families were dependant on these deliveries, Paddy tried to help. The Parachute regiment opened fire and Paddy tried to get a cease fire order from the commanding officer to enable the children of the area to be evacuated. He stepped out with a Red Cross flag tied to a broomstick. He flag was shot out of his hand, and he began to bleed quite heavily.
When Paddy returned to
the BTA he commented that ‘even the jerry’s respected that flag’.
Still he was determined to try his best for the people of Ballymurphy and
while still bleeding heavily he loaded milk into crates and onto a trolley.
Paddy started to walk through the streets calling out ‘milk for babies’.
On his journey he was told by two members of the Parachute regiment to get
back. As the soliders harassed and beat Paddy, one of them placed a gun in
Paddy's mouth. As the solider pulled the trigger on the gun in what seemed
like an attempt to kill Paddy, the gun was unloaded. Eye witnesses watched
in horror as the stress of the events was too much for Paddy to bare and he
suffered a fatal heart attack.