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This year, 2022, many communities and indeed many families throughout Belfast and the North will be remembering and commemorating the loss of father's, husband's, mother's, son's and daughter's as we approach the 50th Anniversary of a year often described as the worst of the recent conflict, 1972.
It was a year that witnessed an endless list of tragedies and a glimmer of hope that a cessation could materialise, only then to spiral into even worst conflict.
It began with the killing of the innocent as an anti-internment march in Derry, was attacked by troops of the Parachute Regiment who, in order to live up to their tough reputation, lost control of their discipline and within a twenty minute period, killed 13 civilians and wounded 13 more one of whom proved fatal, in what we now know as "Bloody Sunday".
This began a sequence of bloody and tragic events that by the end of the year, resulted in the death of 479 people with a further 4,876 injured.
One statistic, states that there were 12,000 shooting and bombing incidents.
One hundred and six soldiers died: 23 UDR personnel and 17 RUC members.
The IRA lost 60 volunteers killed with several hundred interned or imprisoned.
Of the 60 IRA fatalities, 27 died as a result of accidentally explosions, eight of those were volunteers from the Short Strand District.
In all conflicts, it is easy to simply count lives as statistics which fail to convey the emotional heartbreak of loss, or the grieving that for some families never ends, passing down to the next generation.
In communities like the Short Strand were very few families, if any, escaped the conflict, the death of any of its parishioners, was felt through the whole community and the pain of the loss envelops into the history of the struggle that moulded a resilience that brought the parish through a century of conflict.
It suffered and fought for its Nationality and in doing so cemented a solid entity of Nationalism and Republicanism East of the Lagan.
This book commemorates and pays tribute to the Ballymacarrett/Short Strand District and to the volunteers who tragically lost their lives in 1972 . Designed in a4 format with 68 pages and fully illustrated on silk gloss paper in B&W and Colour, this non-profit LIMITED edition publication, is a fitting tribute to those who gave their lives not only for their Country, but for their community.
Author: Sean O'Coinn
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