By Francesca Ryan

THE first child ever to be born in Ballymurphy is moving out of the estate.

After 63 years in the family home, Marie Crozier is the last remaining member of the Murray family to move out of their Ballymurphy Road house.

Four of Marie’s six siblings gathered at the home this week before the keys were handed back to the Housing Executive, marking the end of a long and happy era for the Murray family.

“We moved in here on February 4th, 1951, and I was the first baby born in the entire estate,” smiled Marie as we walked the now echoing rooms.  “Four of us were born in the back room upstairs and we were all brought up here, six sisters and one brother, and we all got married from here.”

Marie’s siblings were buzzing around the four-bedroom house helping gather up the last few items ahead of the move when the Andersonstown News called. In a house once bursting with life, only two silent reminders of the past remained.

“This picture of the Sacred Heart has been here all the time,” said Marie, pointing to the nearly bare wall, “and this framed embroidery was done by my daddy when he was interned. They’re so precious to us – that’s why they’re last to come down.”

With both parents deceased, Marie’s moving to Mill Court on the Falls where she’s back living with her sisters.

“I am sad to be going as we have so many, many memories from here, but the house is too big for me now, although I must say I’m looking forward to having the company of my sisters at Mill Court. I feel this is mummy working her magic by bringing us back together again.”

Councillor Stevie Corr popped in to say goodbye.

“It is a sad and symbolic day for the area,” he said.  “The first baby born in Ballymurphy is now leaving, but I suppose that’s the circle of life. My constituency surgery is inundated with young families who would love a good big house like this, so I hope that a family moves in and stays as long as the Murrays and have as many happy times as they had over the past 63 years.”

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