On the 24th March, 1922, six members of the McMahon household were murdered by the Ulster Special Constabulary/RIC simply for being a respected Catholic family. McMahon was a wealthy publican with several pubs in Belfast and his murderers told him he and his family were "selected" precisely because of their respectability.
The day before, two USC were killed by the IRA and in retaliation the McMahon family were selected for a reprisal attack. 12 men came to their home in the middle of the night and the following were murdered -
Owen McMahon (50) - Father
Bernard McMahon - Son
Frank McMahon (24) - Son
Patrick McMahon (22) - Son
Gerard McMahon (15) -Son
Edward McKing (25) - barman.
Another son Michael escaped by hiding behind a couch and playing dead.
Previously on the 24th, 2 other Catholics - Patrick Murphy (61) and Sarah McShane (15) were shot dead by USC again in reprisal for the killing of the two USC.
On the 1st April, 1920, 6 Catholics were murdered in what has become known as Arnon Street Killings.
William Spellen (70) - Mr. Spellen had just returned from his wife's funeral. She too had been murdered a few days earlier. According to Mr. Spellen's 12 year old grandson, who was with him at the time, the USC stole the £20 he had on him to pay for the funeral.
Bernard McKenna ((42) - killed in his bed. Father of 7.
Joseph Walsh (39) - bludgeoned to death in his bed. His son Michael (7) was also shot and died the next day. His 3 year old daughter witnessed this as the two were asleep with their father. His other son Frank (14) was shot in the leg but survived.
John Mallon (60)
John McRory - shot in his kitchen.
The Free State government investigated these murders and came to the conclusing the District Inspector John William Nixon had given the go ahead for the murders and may have participated directly in them himself.
15 innocent Catholics murdered by State security forces in the space of a week.
Craig refused to hold an inquiry into any of these state sanctioned murders.
Unlike the Dunmanway killings of Protestants in West Cork, these murders of Catholics in Belfast are all but been buried and forgotten by the most.