Remember Martha Campbell, Schoolgirl
On the 50th anniversary of the murder of Martha Campbell by the Killer Kings Regiment of the British Army, Paper Trail publishes a few words from her brother, Tony, who has campaigned with the rest of her family for truth and justice for half a century. They remember Martha here and will hopefully secure a new inquest soon.
"Martha was 13 when shot dead and I was 14 so both of us were still at school. She was a typical 13-year-old doing all the things 13-year-olds do.
Martha was a thoughtful and helpful girl willing to do good where she could. She helped Mother Teresa's nuns when they were living in Springhill and supporting our community.
On the night Martha was shot dead, I was in our house, it started filtering through that Martha had been hit but the first reports were that it wasn’t too bad.
Our dad quickly made his way to the RVH hospital to check on her condition but it took a while as there was still sporadic trouble in the area. There was no transport so he had to walk.
When he returned home, our house was packed. I still remember the reaction. Someone hesitantly asked him how was Martha and my daddy's face turned white. "She's dead," he said.
Everybody in the house burst into tears and there were screams of disbelief.
There was trouble in the area throughout the days of Martha's wake with Saracens racing up and down the street. Martha's coffin was open, and only for a small plaster on her cheek where there was a bullet wound, it looked like she was asleep. Many people died just before Martha's death and many soon after.
There were few press reports on her death.
That is why I said for many years that Martha was a forgotten victim.
Our mother was visibly heartbroken and I don't think that she will ever get over Martha's death.
When she is asked by many people how she feels about the person who killed Martha and the fact that no one has admitted the shooting, she says that she doesn’t expect to find out or get to the truth but whoever the person is they will have to meet God and God will judge him. I think her faith has helped her cope.
We all believed it was the British Army who murdered Martha.
Now we have the evidence that the British Army was firing shots from Moyard flats at the time Martha was murdered, the family now has hope of getting the full truth.
For me, the resounding criticism of the British Army and Ministry of Defence is that they knew what happened and covered it up for nearly 50 years.
The inquest shortly after Martha was killed did not hear this evidence; no investigation took place; no forensics or ballistics reports were provided; Martha’s case was just shelved as unsolved.
At the very least now, we demand a new inquest as our family has a right to the truth. Together with our solicitor, Pádraig Ó Muirigh, we will be petitioning the Attorney General for a fair and just investigation."
Tony and the family have a moving campaign website: Remember Martha Campbell
Read the Paper Trail report: The Murder of Martha Campbell, Schoolgirl
Trope: Essays and Articles
by Ciarán MacAirt.
These essays and articles represent a personal journey, and find him trudging from the killing fields of World War 1 to the back streets of Belfast where death squads prowled.
All of the profits from the sale of this book are donated directly to the charity, Paper Trail, to help fund its work with victims and survivors of the conflict in Ireland and Britain.