Brits shoot nine-year-old
NINE-YEAR-OLD Hugh Hamill, from Spamount Street in Belfast's New Lodge Road, was seriously injured by a plastic bullet fired by a British soldier into H-Block marchers last Saturday afternoon.
The incident occured on Finaghy Road at the junction of Riverdale Park South where the H-Block march had turned to make its way back onto the Andersonstown Road.
Two hundred yards up the road, militant youths were stoning riot-clad soldiers and RUC men who had blocked the march from getting onto the M1 and heading for Long Kesh. They had taken shelter behind riot-shields and armoured jeeps under a bridge whilst on the bridge sat RUC jeeps and Brit armoured vehicle re-inforcements.
The first salvo of plastic bullets were fired not at the rioters as might have been supposed, but over their heads and they struck people on the march. One of those hit was nine-year-old Hugh Hamill, who was struck on the head, fracturing his skull. He fell to the ground unconscious, his head covered in blood. He was immediately carried into an ambulance under a rain of more plastic bullets and British snatch squads charging towards the crowd.
Sinn Féin slammed the attack and pointed out that the RUC knew that they and the British had created casualties yet their public statement issued later only announced their own casualties - a statement obviously intended to cover up, and distract attention from the attack on the marchers.
Phoblacht, Saturday 8 March 1980