Joe Mahon

Joe Mahon

January 30th, 1972
Sixteen-year-old Joe Mahon saw soldiers appearing at the top of Glenfada Park. He thought they were going to arrest him so he ran towards the exit leading to Abbey Park. Two other people were running beside him. He saw the soldier lift his gun and then he heard a shot. Joe fell in the middle. To his right was Jim Wray and to his left William McKinney. McKinney was an older man wearing thick glasses and a heavy coat. He looked at young Mahon and said: "I'm hit! I'm hit!"
Joe was very afraid but he lay absolutely still and pretended he was dead. He could hear Jim Wray speaking to people in hiding.
Mahon then heard the soldier walking towards them. Casually the soldier walked past him and fired two bullets into Jim Wray's back. The soldier continued walking and Joe heard more gunfire.
Young Joe recognized a Scottish accent when the soldier said: "I've got another one." Then he heard another soldier call from behind: "Okay Dave, we're going.
" Before leaving "Dave" walked towards Joe and the now dead Jim Wray again. Joe saw him remove his helmet to wipe his brow. Above a blackened face, Joe could see fair hair. Joe listened as the soldiers left. He waited for what seemed like an eternity to be sure the soldiers had all left Glenfada Park. He then made a near fatal mistake. As he turned his head to check he saw the soldier called 'Dave'. Dave saw him too and lifted his gun to shoot. Mahon turned his head away, sure that he was going to be killed.
Just then a young female nurse arrived and ran into Glenfada Park shouting: "Don't shoot - First Aid". Dave turned his gun in her direction and shot before running towards the army tank. The young nurse jumped back and the bullets missed her. Her name was Evelyn Lafferty - and Joe owes her his life.
Evelyn ran back into Glenfada and took Joe to hospital. In 1973, Joe and Evelyn began to see each other on a regular basis. In March 1974, they married. Now they have five children, ranging in ages from 25 to 16.

(World Around Unit 5 Page 63)

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