- An Introduction By Joe Graham
Over the years I have written a number of publications and special little themed booklets such as this. Whilst the Rushlight Magazine has been the focus of my attention in sharing events from yesteryear; light hearted yarns, ghoulish tales, and stories from history that I felt would be interesting to the reader, occasionally I have unearthed a series of events from history which I've felt deserved a complete booklet to be dedicated to them. The Killing Fields of Templepatrick is a tale that deserves to be told. The truth of history deserves to be made known.
The events included in this publication were so poignant and compelling to me, it was as though they begged to be told, as though the voices of those involved were crying from the earth. Standing on the spot where the massacre had occurred, was a defining moment in my decision to write this story.
My heart allowed me to see the events of that night unfold before me. The screams of the women and children became audible to me; the sight of the flames and destruction became visible and I knew that this story had to be told.
Those of you who know my work know that my preferred style in which to impart knowledge of historical events is to tell a story and I would like to share a most solemn and deplorable tale here. This is a story of massacre and destruction. It is a true story set close to Templepatrick in the area of Ballymartin, likely a little known area to most people not from that vicinity.
The story itself is one which those who have lived their entire lives in the area are unaware of, yet the spot where the main events took place is bypassed by thousands on a daily basis; completely oblivious to the history of the surrounding countryside. This work has not been compiled for any reason other than my own passion for sharing historical truth.
Since first publishing this small booklet I have given a number of talks on the subject to interested gatherings. One or two of those in the audience have passed comment that although familiar with the area, they had never heard of the story of the massacre at McGarrystown. However, a lack of evidence on their part does not prove an evidence of lack. As I mentioned earlier, I have had the rare opportunity of standing on the desecrated ruins of the old church and I sought that experience based on the evidence that I myself uncovered through many years of research.
To see the *******isation of history by revisionists frustrates me. This is a story of the massacre of a small, defenceless community whose existence has been deliberately omitted from accessible historical record. It is one that should resonate loudly as it urges us that we should never forget and so this is my attempt to ensure that it is never forgotten.
Fair play to you Joe for highlighting this again. Its a piece of history that should be memorialised every year. They commemorate the 12th every year
while tragedies like this are wiped off the history books. there has been many incidents that have been buried while others are continually brought to the forefront. I must get that book of you next time I'm home. Keep up the good work Joe, bless your heart. I hope you and your loved ones are all well.
Yes Rusty we are all keeping well, thanks for asking.
I liked your comment above Rusty, we should never allow them to bury our history which is happening here in the six county fudge statelet.
A great Tour Joe ... it fairly opened our eyes . Thank You.
It amazed me that Frances Joseph Bigger, a historian I always had the greatest respect for never mentioned one of these horrific massacres in his book on the history of the area...selectivity ?
Powerfully researched ... the can't bury the truth, shame on them.