Between Monday the 9th and Wednesday the 11th of August 1971, the Parachute Regiment of the British Army murdered eleven Irish civilians in the Ballymurphy district of Belfast. Among the victims was a mother of eight, Joan Connolly, gunned down by military snipers as she went to the aid of a wounded teenager, eventually bleeding to death from multiple injuries as she lay in the street. Several months later that same elite unit of Britain’s armed forces would attack a civil rights march in the city of Derry on Sunday the 30th of January 1972, this time killing fourteen men and boys.
The linked atrocities were known as the Ballymurphy and Bloody Sunday Massacres and a new documentary film, The Ballymurphy Precedent, examines the initial war crime. Those who suffered it, those who inflicted it and those who tried to conceal it.