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Soldiers mocked the daughter of a man shot dead, Ballymurphy inquest hears

BRITISH soldiers mocked the daughter of a man who was shot dead in the Ballymurphy massacre in west Belfast more than 40 years ago, an inquest has heard.

Alice Harper told the court last week that she had tried to find her father Danny Harper following the brutal massacre that took place between August 9 and 11 1971, fearing he had been arrested during internment swoops the previous day.

As she made her way to the Henry Taggart Army Post she explained that soldiers mocked her, saying they only had time for killing and began to sing: “Where’s Your Papa Gone?”

As she returned she was allegedly told: “There is a fucking unidentified body in the Laganbank morgue, why don't you try there?"

She recalled that she was only able to identify her father’s body from the black curls from his hair which she had cut shortly before his murder.

“His face was all puffy and it didn't look like him, but the only way I could recognise him was his tight curly hair,” she said.

Ms Harper went on to say that the stress of losing her father caused her to develop alopecia and lose her hair. She told the inquiry that her son died just two days after his birth the following March.

British soldiers from the Parachute Regiment killed 11 people during the Ballymurphy massacre with the victims' families waging a 40-year campaign for justice. 

Calls for an inquest were blocked by the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Arlene Foster while she was first minister in Stormont.

However the High Court said that "her decision to refuse to put a funding paper on the executive basis was unlawful and procedurally flawed” with the inquiry opening last Monday.

The hearing has been hampered by the loss of records and statements from military witnesses.

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