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Soldier describes giving first aid to man during Ballymurphy Massacre

The Ballymurphy families were at Belfast Laganside Court for the continuation of the inquest.
Press Eye - 
Photograph by Declan Roughan The Ballymurphy families were at Belfast Laganside Court for the continuation of the inquest. Press Eye - Photograph by Declan Roughan
By Michael Jackson

A former soldier has an inquest into the Ballymurphy massacre how he administered first aid to a dying man during the shootings.
Soldier M5547 described how he used shell dressing to treat the victim’s wounds at Henry Taggart Hall on the Springfield Road.
The testimony emerged during evidence into the shootings of Daniel Teggart, Joan Connolly, Joseph Murphy, and Noel Phillips, who were shot opposite the Henry Taggart Army base in August 1971.
The soldier, who was in B Company, Para 2, told how he had joined several other soldiers in collecting civilian casualties from the front of the base, but did not recall what he did. He said he could remember seeing Ms Connolly after she was shot, describing some of her wounds to the court, but said he was not sure if he had seen her inside or outside the base.
He later told how he administered first aid to a man aged 35 to 40 years old who had sustained multiple gunshot wounds to his body and limbs.
“We treated him for a couple of hours until he died,” the witness said.
A barrister representing the family of Daniel Teggart said he believed the casualty might have been him.
Earlier, another soldier, known by the cipher M1434, described driving an armoured vehicle to recover the bodies of the casualties.
He said he had come under fire when shooting broke out on waste ground facing Henry Taggart Hall. He told the court that he had taken cover behind the wheel of a vehicle, but did not return fire as he could not see any targets.
M1434 said he later drove a number of other soldiers to the waste ground to collect casualties, but had stayed in the driver’s seat for the duration.
The witness was unable to confirm the identity of the soldiers accompanying him or the number of people in the vehicle. He was unable to recall if another soldier was sitting beside him in the front passenger seat.
Asked about previous witness testimony that casualties were shot as they lay and thrown into the vehicle, M1434 said he did not hear any gunshots and did not see how the casualties were put into the vehicle. He also said he did not discharge his own weapon during the recovery operation.
Later, a soldier known as M146 gave evidence via video link, describing how he had heard gunfire directed both at and from the base. Following questioning, he later conceded that due to relative inexperience as a soldier he would have been unable to determine the source or location of the gunfire. He went on to accept the suggestion that the gunshots could have been “miles away”.

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