She’s been searching for around twenty years, yet the work is never done and won’t be until there is an official independent investigation into her father’s murder.
“One witness told us the soldiers had broken into the local butcher’s shop and taken knives,” Donnelly says, rifling through a filing cabinet as she talks, looking for a document.
He hadn’t been working there that day, and had assumed that if there’d been a break-in, he’d have heard about it.
Then the HET uncovered a statement from a soldier saying they had indeed broken into the shop to take shelter.
Now, through his charity, Paper Trail, which he founded in 2014, he hopes to impart his research skills and knowledge to others. Today, they would learn about public records laws and archives, and how to mine them for information.“My daddy had sutured wounds – like long, deep cuts – on his body,” she says. He was the only victim not to have photographs taken during his post-mortem.” She doesn’t say that the soldiers cut him with stolen knives, because she can’t prove it happened – but the possibilities of what might have hang in the air.She managed to track down everything from soldiers’ statements to the Army’s official investigation into Ballymurphy – “It’s half a page long” – to inquest papers.Every time she imparts a new piece of information, she reaches for her files – for a soldier’s statement, a report – and searches for the exact line that proves she’s telling the truth.It’s as if she’s afraid of not being believed, and so she speaks in a clipped, encyclopedic tone, only referring to the facts she can prove – like a cop, investigating the murder of someone she’s never met.She’d thought the witness must have imagined the break-in.