Eyewitness account of what can happen when first shots are fired

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Posted a tweet earlier underscoring what I witnessed in Belfast during Troubles once first shots are fired in live situation. I had gone to Kennedy Way on Sunday morning to meet Fr Denis Faul who had just emerged from the Maze Prison (1981) where he had offered mass.
I parked on the forecourt of garage.  As of then, on left side of road, travelling towards Glen Road/Andersonstown Road junction, I faced front wheels of my car out onto road in anticipation of arrival of Fr. Faul.
Suddenly there was a burst of gunfire. I hadn’t a clue from where the shooting came as a soldier fell to the ground to my left. He had been hit in upper body.

His fellow soldiers literally loosed off all over the place at the same time as I dived from my car waving my keys frantically as I lay on the ground.

My point is that once the shooting begins there is no guarantee what is going to unfold regardless of the best laid plans. Those soldiers fired shots aimlessly in the hope that such activity, I suspect, would deter the attackers if only by way of intimidation.

[This article originally appeared on Slugger O’Toole]

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I am a regular contributor to discussion programmes on TV and radio both at home and abroad. An experienced political editor and author specialising in Politics, Security and 20th Century Art.

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