The Shankill Butchers
The Shankill Butchers was an Ulster loyalist gang—many of whom were members of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)—that was active between 1975 and 1982 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It was based in the Shankill area and was responsible for the deaths of at least 23 people, most of whom were killed in sectarian attacks. The gang was notorious for kidnapping and murdering random Irish Catholic civilians; each was beaten ferociously and had his throat hacked with a butcher’s knife. Some were also tortured and attacked with a hatchet. The gang also killed six Ulster Protestants over personal disputes, and two other Protestants mistaken for Catholics.
Extract from Belfast Child
The story of my life long search for my missing Catholic mother and our eventual reunion.
I lived just opposite the community centre were the butchers dumped many of the bodies and I use to be terrified on dark winter nights, when I had to walk past the centre and every sound and shadow had me on tender hooks. Once my cousin Sam and I were playing in a building site and we ran into a half completed house to hide from our mates. All the walls and floors were covered with blood and gore and on one of the walls it looked as those someone had tried to write “Help Me” in their own blood. We knew we were in a room that had been used to torture someone and we both yelled and ran all the way home………………………………………………….
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