Town Clerk - how I was shot at Halloween

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Derry Town Clerk has revealed a painful memory of being wounded in a drive by shooting on a Halloween night.

Sharon O’Connor was just 14 years-old when she was “in the wrong place at the wrong time” on the Antrim Road in Belfast in the 1970s. She waswaiting for taxi with a large group of teenage revellers after a school disco when she was shot in a random attack.

“There were fireworks going off in the city . . . but I didn’t hear a bang, all I remember was lying on the ground - realising that I was holding my arm and realising there was a hole in my coat and there was blood.

“I didn’t realise a bullet was in me but I knew I was hurt. Some of the people about organised to get me to the hospital. I was shot in the arm and my face was cut as well.”

Although wounded, she admits that she was more worried about her father finding out that she went against his wishes to attend the disco and that her new coat had been destroyed.

“I had told him I was at an aunt’s house and snuck down to go to this disco. My chief concern was what my very stern father was going to say to me for being somewhere I wasn’t supposed to be.

“I wasn’t seriously injured, what I was more concerned about was that I had a new coat that my mum had bought. It was a lovely maxi-length chocolate brown corduroy coat and it ended up with a nasty bullet hole in the sleeve.”

She says the event had “quite an effect”.

“Even to this day I’m not good at loud bangs.”