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Coordinates: 54°34′30″N 5°58′26″W / 54.575°N 5.974°W / 54.575; -5.974

Ballymurphy Massacre
Part of The Troubles
A mural in Belfast commemorating the victims of the Ballymurphy Massacre.
Location Belfast, Northern Ireland
Date 9 – 11 August 1971
Attack type
Deaths 11
Perpetrator The Parachute Regiment, British Army

The Ballymurphy Massacre is a name given to a series of incidents involving the killing of eleven civilians by the Parachute Regiment of the British Army in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The killings happened between 9 and 11 August 1971, during Operation Demetrius. The shootings are also known as "Belfast Bloody Sunday".[1]

The Northern Ireland "Troubles" had been raging for two years and Belfast was torn apart by political and sectarian violence. The British army had been deployed in Northern Ireland in 1969, as the Royal Ulster Constabulary had let events spiral beyond its control.

On the morning of Monday 9 August 1971, the security forces launched Operation Demetrius. The plan was to arrest and imprison without charge or trial anyone suspected of being members of the Irish Republican Army. The unit selected for this operation was the Parachute Regiment; the same regiment who were later responsible for the Bloody Sunday shootings in Derry on 30 January 1972.[2] Members of the Parachute Regiment stated that, as they entered the Ballymurphy area, they were shot at by republicans and returned fire.[3]

The families of the victims of the Ballymurphy Massacre seek acknowledgment from the British government that those killed were innocent of any wrongdoing.[4]

The dead commemorated in a republican garden of Remembrance in Ballymurphy, Belfast

Six civilians were shot on 9 August, these were:

  • Francis Quinn (19), shot by a sniper (who had taken position at the nearby army base) while going to the aid of a wounded man.[5]
  • Hugh Mullan (38), a Catholic priest, shot by a sniper while going to the aid of a wounded man.[5][6]
  • Joan Connolly (50), shot as she stood opposite the army base.[5][7]
  • Daniel Teggart (44), was shot fourteen times. Most of the bullets allegedly entered his back as he lay injured on the ground.[8][5]
  • Noel Phillips (20), shot as he stood opposite the army base.[5][9]
  • Joseph Murphy (41), shot as he stood opposite the army base.[5]

One civilian was shot on 10 August, and another four were shot on 11 August, these were:

  • Edward Doherty (28), shot while walking along Whiterock Road.[10]
  • John Laverty (20) and Joseph Corr (43) were shot at separate points at the Top of the Whiterock Road. Laverty was shot twice, once in the back and once in the back of the leg. Corr was shot multiple times and died of his injuries on 27 August.[5][11]
  • John McKerr (49), shot by unknown attackers while standing outside the Roman Catholic church, died of his injuries on 20 August.[5][12]
  • Paddy McCarthy (44) got into a confrontation with a group of soldiers. One of them allegedly put an empty gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. McCarthy suffered a heart-attack and died shortly thereafter.[13][14]

See also


  1. "Belfast ‘Bloody Sunday’ Inquiry Called For" by Damian Robin. The Epoch Times, 29 June 2010
  2. "Bishop Backs Army Killings Probe - Northern Ireland, Local & National -" Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK, World, News, Business, Entertainment | 29 July 2010. Web. 6 August 2011.<>.
  3. "Ballymurphy families meet First Minister Peter Robinson". BBC News. 18 February 2011.
  4. Relatives For Justice - Ballymurphy Tree-planting Ceremony
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 CAIN - Index of Deaths - 9 August 1971 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "CAIN 9th" defined multiple times with different content
  6. "Fr Hugh Mullan". Archived from the original on 19 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-26. 
  7. "Joan Connolly". Archived from the original on 19 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-26. 
  8. McDonald, Henry. "Were Bloody Sunday Soldiers Involved in 'Ballymurphy Massacre'? | UK News | The Observer." Latest News, Comment and Reviews from the Guardian | 6 June 2010. Web. 5 August 2011. <>.
  9. "Noel Phillips". Archived from the original on 21 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-26. 
  10. CAIN - Index of Deaths - 10 August 1971
  11. "Joseph Corr". Archived from the original on 21 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-26. 
  12. "John McKerr". Archived from the original on 19 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-26. 
  13. CAIN - Index of Deaths - Sudden deaths due to heart problem during an incident
  14. "Paddy McCarthy". Archived from the original on 21 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-26. 

External links

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