• By Ciaran Cahill
    C4 continued his evidence from yesterday, he was a serving member of the Royal Corps of Signals on leave at the time visiting family. He was present during the shooting of Fr Hugh Mullan and Frank Quinn on waste ground near Springfield Park.  He told the court that he saw soldiers shooting from the flats in Springmartin.
    Mr Rooney council for the MOD continued to question C4 about some differences in his accounts about what happened.  In an earlier statement from 2009, C4 had said he could not see the colour of the berets worn by the soldiers who shot at them from the Springmartin flats, but he is now certain that he saw soldiers with red berets who he believes were para’s.
    When asked about the differences in his accounts C4 said he wasn’t sure of his frame of mind in 2009 when giving the account saying “I just wanted it to be over me”.  He agreed that his memory at 71 was not that of the 21-year-old man who witnessed the killings.  He said that the distance in time may have accounted for the discrepancies, but he said he was doing his best to give “an honest and truthful account”. C4 told the court no matter about recent statements he would “stand over what I said at the time” referring to his statement made on the 21st August 1971 adding “that statement is probably the best and more accurate one”.
    Ms Campbell council for the Mullan and Quinn families asked C4 if the questioning he faced yesterday and today form the MOD made him question his original statement? C4 replied “no”.  C4 told the court that he made a statement to the RUC in the Henry Taggart within 2 or 3 days of the shootings but has never seen a copy of it.  He told the court “I didn’t like it, I didn’t want to do it, What I saw in my mind was murder, shooting civilians who weren’t involved in any terrorist action”.
    The corner Justice Keegan asked C4 why he had come forward in 1971 to speak out about what had happened, C4 replied: “People needed their justice.”
    Ms Campbell referenced other witnesses who have already given evidence to the court, Sean Daley, Francis Corr and Joe Millen.  They all place  a man with an English accent, a soldier, who was married to a local woman in the field offering assistance and comfort to those dead and wounded.  C4 said they “were definitely talking about me”.
    Ms Campbell also made reference to the Commanding Officer Gen Hewlett’s evidence, he said those who went to the aid of others in the field were associated with the IRA.  Ms Campbell said “that would include you, are you in any way associated with the IRA? C4 replied “No”.
    The next witness was M282 a private in B Company, 6 platoon, 2 Para who was based at Vere Foster school.  Like other military witnesses he was granted anonymity and screened from the public gallery, but immediate family members were allowed to see him from the jury box.  M282 told the court he was issued with and SLR riffle and 20 rounds of ammunition at the beginning of his tour.  He described the Vere Foster school as his base which had billets for the soldiers and an operations room.  He said the Operations room had radio equipment in order to keep contact with Battalion HQ mobile patrols and the police.  M282 told the court he was involved in the arrest of suspected terrorists on the morning of Internment with older soldiers from B company but couldn’t remember who they were.
    His next recollection of Internment day was hearing shooting around 5 or 6pm, he was between Vere Foster and the Henry Taggart and took cover behind a “heap of sand”.  M282 remained behind the sand for about an hour until the shooting died down, he believed the shooting was coming from Divismore Park but didn’t see any shooters.  M282 said “at no time did I discharge my rifle”. Telling the court “Every soldier is required to account for each round of ammunition and if I had discharged my weapon I would have had to report it”.  M282 described hearing return fire from the Henry Taggart hall and the sangars but didn’t see ant soldiers discharge their weapons and at no time did he see anyone get shot.  When the firing easy M282 returned to the Vere Foster school.
    He told the court that he first became aware of casualties when he and another soldier M113 were ordered to go into the manse field to pinpoint the bodies in order to recover them.  He wasn’t certain who gave him the order to do this.
    M282 said they made a hole in the fence surrounding the Henry Taggart and went into the manse field.  M282 told the court that they “crawled on our bellies” in the darkness searching for bodies without their weapons. He described finding the bodies of a woman and a man, he said “the woman I located was definitely dead as she was stone cold to the touch”.  He noticed she had a “big hole in her leg”, but couldn’t remember much about the man he had found other than he was in his 30’s or 40’s. He said the soldier with him had discovered two or three bodies, but that he had not seen what his colleague was doing.  M282 said “I did not see any weapons or shell casings or any other material with them”.
    M282 said the next thing he was aware of was a retrieval group of four soldiers arrive in an armoured vehicle who picked up the casualties and place them in the vehicle.  He told the court he didn’t speak to them and couldn’t identify who they were.  He told the court “I do not know where the casualties were taken after we found them.  I did not see any casualties that were alive.  I don’t know if they were taken into the Henry Taggart Hall of if they were taken to the hospital”.  M282 said he ran back to Vere Foster school were they probably had a debrief from the Sergeant Major who told them “Well done, you done well”, before they got something to eat and drink.
    Council for the coroner Mr Heraghty asked M282 about the other soldier M113, saying he made a statement and has no recollection of going into the manse field. M282 replied “as far as I am concerned he is the person who went out with me, as sure as I know it was me myself”.  Asked if there was any shooting at the time he went out or came back he replied “no not at that particular time”.
    Mr Fahy council for the Taggart and Philips families asked M282 “was that the first occasion as a soldier that you had dealings with people who were shot” M282 replied “Yes”. Mr Fahy asked if he has on any occasion ever heard any of the names of the civilians who died in the field that night, M282 replied “not that I can recall” adding “I never enquired”.
    Mr Fahy asked M282 what sort of thing debriefs would have covered, M282 said “any soldiering mistakes made or if there had been a successful result like the amount of arrests”.  Mr Fahy suggested to M282 that the shooting of unarmed civilians is a serious as it gets and that there must have been a debrief, M282 agreed “There must have been because that’s just how things are done, especially whenever there are casualties it would have upgraded things” Mr Fahy asked “was 9th August considered as a soldiering mistake, shooting unarmed civilians?” M282 replied “I would like to think that if somebody shot an unarmed civilian they would have been dealt with”.  M282 had no recollection of a debrief ever taking place.
    Ms Doherty council for the Connolly family asked M282 about discovering Mrs Connolly’s body saying “you described one wound to the leg, did you look at her face” M282 replied “no I didn’t, I since learned that the woman had a head wound”.  Ms Doherty said “she had more than a head wound, she had a gaping wound to the left side of her face”.  M282 told the court “I can’t remember looking at that, the leg was enough for myself”.
    Ms Doherty asked M282 if he could identify any of the soldiers who retrieved the bodies, he said “I didn’t recognise them”.  Ms Doherty said these were soldiers in B company did you “subsequently find out who they were, M282 replied “no”.
    The final witness to give evidence was Mrs Elizabeth Adams the 16-year-old daughter of Davy Callaghan who was shot and injured in the manse field then brutally beaten in the Henry Taggart hall.  Mrs Adams recalled playing outside her house in Divismore Park.  “it was a lovely summers evening just starting to turn to dark and I was outside playing in the street”.  Mrs Adams recalled meeting Mrs Connolly “walking up the entry into the square” in her street.  She described seeing Mrs Connolly “buttoning her coat at the neck as if she had left her house without putting her coat on.” Adding “I think she was wearing a skirt, Mrs Connolly was very tall and had a great head of hair” she said.  Mrs Adams told the court that Mrs Connolly stopped for a brief conversation and asked her if she had seen her daughter Briege.  Mrs Adams told her that she was at the top of Divismore Park, “Mrs Connolly then set off up the street, I never seen here again” she said.
    Mrs Adams told council for the coroner that Mrs Connolly didn’t have anything in her hands when she saw her.
    Mrs Adams described going to meet her mother in her brother’s house in Moyard, she made her way up through Springfield Park.  She described seeing a lot of people about and older men trying to get kids off the street.  As she arrived at her brother house she described hearing a “rapid burst of gunfire” adding “everyone started to scream and we were told to lie down on the floor.  When the shooting stopped she recalled going to Moyard club with her mother and sisters, the club was a makeshift first aid post and a place of safety.   While there Mrs Adams described seeing bodies being brought in.  She said she saw Fr Mullan’s body at the Moyard flats and she watched a man place a white handkerchief over Fr Mullan’s face.  She recalled seeing another injured man lying on a table before the younger children were moved to a different room. Mrs Adams remained in the club that night before returning home.
    Mrs Adams told the court her father Davy Callaghan had been shot in the manse field and was beaten in the Henry Taggart hall.  She said he was in the hospital and was then arrested and taken to a barracks and didn’t return home for 3 or 4 days.
    Davy Callaghan’s own statement was previously read into court as evidence in which he  described the brutality that was inflicted on those who were taken into the Henry Taggart Memorial Hall that night. He told how a Saracen came down the Springfield Road and flung the dead and wounded into the back and brought them to the Henry Taggart. He said they “trailed men along the ground into the hall” in the hallway they were “kicked, struck by rifle butts, trailed along the floor, put into a room with beds and spread-eagled on the floor”.
    Mr Callaghan’s statement listed his injuries: 7 stitches on the head, 5 stitches on the back of his ear, bruises and bruised ribs. When the padre asked soldiers to put dressings on the wounded Mr Callaghan said he overheard them say “why give them to them we might need the fucking things ourselves”.
    Mrs Adams told the court “my father never spoke about his injuries or where he was hurt as it was too private”.  She said she often over heard her father talk to other men about the brutality he and others received in the Henry Taggart but that he never told his children.  When asked if he ever talked about the manse Mrs Adams relied “no”.  adding “It was always something that never left his mind, the people who were killed and the brutality, people still remember, they still talk about it”.
    Mrs Adams told the court her father asked the Padre for help and he refused saying “die you bastard” he was just as bad as the Brits she said.
    Mr Coll council for the MOD suggested to Mrs Adams that she might have “misremembered” what her father told her, she replied “no I am positive, I lived in the house with him”, he further suggested “your mind could have been playing tricks on you”, Mrs Adams replied “absolutely not”.
    The inquests continue tomorrow 04/04/19 at 10.30am.