Haunted by Barracks
Family relieved that demolition has begun

The family of a local man shot dead by the RUC have welcomed the ongoing demolition of Andersonstown barracks.

Hugh Jordan, father of IRA volunteer Pearse Jordan, says that the barracks was a constant reminder of what happened to his son.

“Any time I would go up that way, which would be frequently, it would always strike me that that was where the men who killed Pearse were waiting for him. Even the very presence of the barracks outside the Milltown graveyard, where Pearse is buried, hurt me.”

Pearse Jordan was shot dead in November 1992. The car he was travelling in on the Falls Road was followed by RUC men in cars who had been waiting outside the barracks. They rammed Pearse’s car and as he attempted to run away, he was shot three times in the back by an RUC man.

“It [Andersonstown Barracks] has been practically empty for a while now, but whether it is empty or not, it is a constant reminder to the people of this area of the British presence, particularly with that mast which enabled them to take photographs of the Republican Plot in Milltown Cemetery,” said Hugh, who said he’s looking forward to the site being used for a more positive purpose.

“As long as it is not a barracks I don’t mind what they replace it with. It has been suggested that it would be used for a youth hostel for foreign travellers, but I don’t mind as long as it is put to better use than what it has been.”

Victims’ group Relatives For Justice said that the barracks also played a pivotal role in the Milltown Cemetery attack, the Kennedy Way cleansing depot killings and attacks on the houses of Gerry Adams and Joe Austin. Andree Murphy of Relatives For Justice welcomed the move to demolish the fortress.

“Any step towards demilitarisation is obviously very welcome. However, it is also a time for reflection for people. It is quite a sad time for people who will recall the legacy of the barracks. The barracks was not about enforcing peace or protecting life or limb, it was about enforcing British military policy. It is a reminder of human rights abuses of the conflict. There should not be euphoria because it should not have been there in the first place. It stands as an example of the dual strategy of direct state killing, like the murder of Pearse Jordan, and the use of state agents like Michael Stone.”

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

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