Northern Ireland news

Ballymurphy inquest hears witness 'can't live with the pain'

AOH members from the US Martin Galvin and James McKay on the way into the Ballymurphy inquest. Picture by Hugh Russell

A MAN who witnessed the shooting dead of two men almost five decades ago has said he "can't live with the pain".

Francis Corr yesterday gave evidence to the inquest examining the deaths of 10 people at Ballymurphy in west Belfast in 1971.

Mr Corr was recalling the deaths of Father Hugh Mullan and Francis Quinn.

The pair were shot near Springfield Park on August 9 1971 when they had been trying to help Bobby Clarke who had been wounded.

Irish American lawyer and activist Martin Galvin and James McKay, President of the Ancient Order of Hibernians attended yesterday.

Mr Corr told the inquest he saw Mr Clarke being shot and went to try and help, with Mr Quinn running behind to help.

He also found Fr Mullan giving Mr Clarke him the last rites.

The inquest heard that Mr Quinn ran towards the grounds of a factory. He was shot before making it.

Mr Corr said Mr Quinn's death bothered him "because for a long time I felt responsible".

Asked by a barrister for the Ministry of Defence why he had not made a statement about the incident for almost 40 years, Mr Corr said "it's not that I want to forget what happened".

"I can't live with the pain of it... people can't deal with it. I'm only coming to terms with it myself now," he said.

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