Northern Ireland

Ballymurphy inquest: Soldier 'gave aid to dying man'

The Ballymurphy victims
Image caption An inquest is examining the deaths of 10 people killed in shootings at Ballymurphy in August 1971

A former soldier has described giving first aid to a dying man in an Army base during the Ballymurphy shootings.

Soldier M574 said he tried to put shell dressings on the victim who had been shot multiple times, but later died.

An inquest is hearing further evidence about the shootings of Joan Connolly, Noel Phillips, Joseph Murphy and Daniel Teggart.

They were shot opposite Henry Taggart Army base in Belfast's Springfield Road in August 1971.

M574, who was in B Company, 2 Para, described earlier having been under fire whilst in a sangar immediately outside the base, but said that at no point in those days had he fired his own weapon.

Later, he said, he was sent on foot with several other soldiers to help collect civilian casualties in front of the base, but had very little memory of what he did.

The former soldier told the court he had not seen anyone being shot.

He said he could, however, remember seeing Ms Connolly after she was shot, but was not sure where he had been at the time.

It was after the casualties were brought into the base that he recalls administering first aid to a man aged 35 to 40 years old who had been shot many times in his body and his limbs.

A barrister for the family of Daniel Teggart said they believed the casualty could have been him.

Image caption Soldiers from the Parachute Regiment were based at Henry Taggart Army base

M574 said that despite his efforts and those of another soldier, the casualty died within a couple of hours.

The inquest is examining the remaining two of 10 deaths over a period of three days in August 1971.

This was after internment without trial was introduced in Northern Ireland earlier that month.

Earlier, another soldier, M1434, described driving an armoured vehicle from the Henry Taggart base over to waste ground so other soldiers could collect casualties lying there.

He was a driver attached to B Company 2 Para in Henry Taggart Hall.

He said that previously he and another soldier had spent a long time under fire taking cover behind an army vehicle parked beside the base.

Collected casualties

M1434 said he drove the vehicle over and stayed in the driver's seat when other soldiers collected casualties and put them in the back.

He was unable to help the court with the names or numbers of soldiers accompanying him.

He said he did not see how the casualties were put into the vehicle, nor did he hear anything else.

He was asked about this because other witnesses have testified that some casualties were shot by soldiers where they lay, and were then tossed into the vehicle.

M1434 did not mention any incidents like that.

Later, soldier M146 gave evidence by video link and explained that he had listened to heavy gunfire directed both at and from the base.

He described being on duty in a sangar on the roof of Vere Foster School and said he had never fired his own weapon during those days.

He said that when he was in the Henry Taggart Hall he was told that there were two bodies there, but he did not see them.

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