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Greysteel Rising Sun victim speaks for the first time

The funeral cortege of one of the victims of the Rising Sun bar massacre 
Seamus McKinney

A WOMAN who was shot and injured along with her mother in the Greysteel massacre is still being treated for her injuries 23 years after the attack.

Lorraine Murray was shot in the arm and her mother, Mary McKeever in the stomach in the 1993 attack at the Rising Sun bar in Co Derry.

The Greysteel victims and their families have always shied away from publicity.

However, in the first detailed account of the killings and their fall-out, Ms Murray said she and her mother felt abandoned and forgotten in the years since.

"It left a massive mental scar as well as the physical one. I am still attending hospital yet with the arm, but physical stuff I can deal with," the shooting victim said. Eight people were shot dead by the UDA at the bar on Halloween night 1993 in reprisal for the earlier IRA Shankill bombing.

Survivor Lorraine Murray

One of the worst atrocities of the Troubles, three men – Geoffrey Deeney, Torrens Knight and Stephen Irwin – were sentenced to life imprisonment for the murders although all three were later released as part of the Good Friday Agreement.

Mrs Murray’s recollection of the ordeal appears in a new book, 'Beyond the Silence,' just published by Guildhall Press.

Edited by Julieann Campbell, it recounts the stories of 28 women directly or indirectly affected by the troubles.

RISING SUN BAR GREYSTEEL

In 'Beyond the Silence,' Ms Murray (who was then 27 years old) recalls suffering from postnatal depression after the birth of her youngest son.

As a result her mother insisted in taking her out for the night to life her spirits.

She recalled standing at the bar of the almost empty Rising Sun around 9pm.

"As we walked towards a table, the gunmen came in behind us. One of them shouted ‘Trick or Treat’ and a young girl said to him, 'That isn’t even funny,’ and he just shot her where she sat. Shot her in the face or head…She was younger than me, only a teenage girl," she recalled.

A police officer surveys the scene of carnage at the Rising Sun bar.

The shooting appeared to go on forever. Ms Murray recalled diving under a table with her mother for cover.

"I lay with my hands over my head. I thought if I lay as if I was dead, they would believe it. I remember thinking, ‘Not my face.’"

She recalled crawling under the tables to the fire exit as one of the killers reloaded his gun or attempted to clear a jam but had to go back for her mother.

"My mother was shot in the stomach too but the bullet had bounced off her handbag first so it wasn’t too bad an injury.

"We ran towards a housing estate and as we were trying to run up the path, I felt the gunmen behind us watching us.

"I was so scared to look back I just carried on, wearing one red stiletto shoe – in the TV footage you can see my one red shoe lying in the middle of the floor.

"My arm felt heavy like a dead arm and there was blood dripping from it. I only knew one house we ran to their door. They didn’t believe us to start with and thought we were joking because it was Halloween until I showed them my arm and said, ‘Does it look like I’m joking?'"

'Beyond the Silence' details the tragedies suffered by women from across the political divide, including an RUC man’s wife and the wife of a British soldier.

"There are also accounts from two daughters of Sammy Devenney who died after being severely beaten by police in his Derry home.

Supported by Derry’s Creggan Enterprises and the International Fund for Ireland, 'Byond the Silence' evolved from an oral history programme, 'Unheard Voices.'

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