Statement of Nicola O Connor
I, Nicola O Connor, the widow of the late Joseph O Connor, who was murdered outside his mother’s Ballymurphy home on Friday, 13th October 2000, have not yet come out with a statement to say who murdered my husband, and my three sons’ father. I would like to do so now. My husband was murdered by the Provisional IRA.
After weeks of being told by Community Restorative Justice members, our M.P., Gerry Adams, and other community members that the Provisional IRA did not kill my husband, that they would have more to lose by doing so, that they wanted me and my three sons back into our Springhill home because we were very valuable members of their community, and that they thought that what happened to my husband was a total disgrace, I have come to know the true meaning of the word disgrace. When you look it up in the English dictionary it is defined as the loss of trust, favour, or honour; something that disgraces; to bring disgrace or shame upon.
What were they all trying to do, in lying to all of us — help cover up the evidence that it was the Provisionals? Because near enough the whole of Northern Ireland, as well as the British, Irish and American Governments, know who killed my husband and they know more, lots more.
I have only got one thing to say to these people and the Provisionals. You are a total disgrace to our community, and shame on you.
O’Connor’s widow says Provos are to blame
By Sharon O’Neill
The Irish News
29 Jan 01
THE widow of Real IRA man Joseph O’Connor has, for the first time, accused the Provisionals of his murder.
The father-of-three was gunned down last October as he sat in a car outside his mother’s house in Ballymurphy, west Belfast.
Immediately after the killing the Real IRA and members of Mr O’Connor’s family pointed the finger of blame at the Provisional IRA (PIRA).
However, on the eve of the dissident chief’s funeral, the PIRA denied any involvement in the murder, which sparked fears of a republican feud.
But last night Mr O’Connor’s widow, Nicola, spoke out to give the most damning indictment yet that PIRA was responsible.
Initially Mrs O’Connor was convinced her husband was shot dead in a personal vendetta, rather than a republican feud.
However, in a stinging attack on PIRA, she said in a statement: “I, Nicola O’Connor, the widow of the late Joseph O’Connor, who was murdered outside his mother’s Ballymurphy home on Friday, October 13, have not yet come out with a statement to say who murdered my husband, and my three sons’ father.
“I would like to do so now. My husband was murdered by the Provisional IRA.”
She also hit out at the denials in the aftermath of the killing.
“What were they all trying to do, in lying to all of us – help cover up the evidence that it was the Provisionals?” she asked.
“Near enough the whole of Northern Ireland, as well as the British, Irish and American governments, know who killed my husband and they know more, lots more.
“I have only got one thing to say to these people and the Provisionals. You are a total disgrace to our community, and shame on you.”
Mrs O’Connor’s statement comes a short time after her husband’s relatives accused PIRA of waging a campaign of intimidation in west Belfast.
The victim’s mother, Margaret, said her family had received threats made on her son’s lost mobile phone.
Pickets were held outside the homes of former PIRA prisoners Tommy Gorman and Anthony McIntyre, who publicly claimed the organisation was behind the murder.
Last night Alex Maskey, Sinn Fein assembly member for west Belfast, said: “The IRA put on record it was not involved in Mr O’Connor’s death.
“Party president and MP for the area Gerry Adams is also on record as saying that he accepted that statement. He did of course express regret at the death of Joe O’Connor and extended his sympathy to his family.”