Page last updated at 04:33 GMT, Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Lives lost to the Troubles

By Chris Summers
BBC News

More than 3,600 people were killed during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Between 1969 and the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 about 2,000 civilians, 1,000 members of the security forces and 600 paramilitaries died.

The Eames Bradley Report, published this week recommends that the families of all 3,600 should receive a payment of £12,000. Here the relatives of some of the dead, and a survivor, tell their stories.


Gregory Kerr at home in Armagh
Gregory Kerr with a picture of himself, as a boy, with his father

Patrick Kerr, 37, a principal prison officer at the Maze prison, was shot dead at 1120 GMT on 17 February 1985 by two IRA men outside Armagh Cathedral.

A Roman Catholic, Mr Kerr had attended Sunday Mass with his two youngest children.

Cardinal Tomas O Fiaich, Primate of All Ireland, who was in his residence nearby at the time, said: "Can anyone conceive of a greater crime than to murder a man in front of his family as he was coming from worshipping God?"

Roseanne Mallon
Roseanne Mallon was shot dead as she watched TV at home

Roseanne Mallon, a 76-year-old Catholic spinster, was shot dead by the loyalist Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) as she watched television at the home of her sister-in-law, Bridie Mallon, on 8 May 1994.

Bridie Mallon only survived the shooting at Killymoyle in County Tyrone because she had stepped out of the room to answer a telephone call.

Roseanne Mallon's nephew, Martin, who served a prison sentence for possessing explosives, said she had been targeted simply because she was related to republicans.

A covert camera and other surveillance equipment belonging to the British army was later found in a field overlooking the house.

Mr Mallon says the Army had deliberately turned a blind eye to the killing as part of a policy of collusion with loyalist paramilitaries.


Sharon McBride
Sharon McBride, pictured on her wedding day, was killed in 1993

Sharon McBride, 29, a health worker and mother, was one of nine civilians killed when an IRA bomb exploded in her father's fishmongers shop on the Shankill Road, a staunchly Protestant district of west Belfast on 23 October 1993.

Her husband Alan said when he had gone to the hospital to find out news of her it had been like being "in the waiting room of Hell".

Their daughter, who he was looking after that day, was only two years old at the time.

One of the bombers, Thomas Begley, was killed in the blast and Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams sparked controversy by carrying his coffin.


Peter Ryan
The family of Peter Ryan say they just want to know the truth

Peter Ryan, 37, was one of three Provisional IRA men gunned down by the SAS after being ambushed in Coagh, County Tyrone, on 3 June 1991.

Ryan, Lawrence McNally, 38, and Tony Doris, 21, were on their way to kill an Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) soldier when the trap was sprung at 0730 BST.

The official report said their car had burst into flames after being hit by about 200 bullets.

But Ryan's family say they have investigated the shooting and the facts suggest at least one of the IRA men was wounded and then "finished off" by the SAS before the car was set on fire.

The case is one of 29 Troubles-related deaths, including that of Roseanne Mallon, still awaiting an inquest.


Michael Patterson, now 51, had been married for three weeks when the armoured Land Rover he was in was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade fired by an IRA unit.

Dr Michael Patterson in his office
Dr Michael Patterson lost both arms in the Troubles but now counsels trauma victims

The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer had to have both arms amputated while his friend, driver Alex Beck, was killed outright.

Seven people were arrested in connection with the attack in west Belfast on 28 September 1981 but none was ever convicted.

He later retrained as a clinical psychologist and today is one of Britain's most respected therapists, specialising in post-traumatic stress disorder.

In November last year Dr Patterson was awarded an OBE for services to healthcare.

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