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  • Christina Drummond

Private Anthony Carlos Harrison, 3rd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1991, Private Anthony Carlos Harrison, 3rd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, was shot dead by IRA gunmen who forced their way into his fiancee’s home on the Holywood Road in East Belfast. The area was at that time considered to be safe, and he was on leave, visiting his fiancee so that they could spend time finalizing their wedding plans. His fiancee, her mother and a ten-year old girl witnessed the murder.

Two years later a taxi driver was jailed for twelve years for conspiring in the murder; his firm was occasionally used by the security forces and it was believed that he had passed on crucial details to the IRA; Private Harrison had previously been one of his passengers. A tragic misunderstanding after a tip-off to Special Branch led to a member of the UDR being warned of a potential attack on his life, when the target was in fact Private Harrison. The informer, Martin McGartland (on whose story the film “Fifty Dead Men Walking” was based) was never charged with any offence relating to the murder, although he admitted in 1992 that he had been the getaway car driver and that Special Branch were aware of his role.

Private Harrison had joined the army five years earlier, and had met his fiancee on a previous tour of Northern Ireland.

Anthony, from London, was 21 years old.

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