Published Wednesday, 23 October 2013
Six people died in the seven days which followed the 23 October 1993 bombing of Frizzell's fish shop on the Shankill Road, where nine people and one IRA man lost their lives.
A further seven were killed in a so-called revenge attack at the Rising Sun bar in Greysteel in Co Londonderry that Saturday, bringing the death toll to 23 - the highest for any month since 1976. An eighth victim of Greysteel died later.
The stories of those who died in the days between the Shankill and Greysteel atrocities were left largely untold but now, 20 years on, some of the families have spoken out.
Connie Rodgers, whose brother was shot, said: "I just often ask why did this all have to happen? Why did those people on the Shankill Road have to be killed? Why did Mark have to be killed? Why did the other people? It is mindless and senseless."
Loyalist paramilitaries immediately set out for revenge for the Shankill bomb and within hours had claimed their first Catholic victim - taxi driver Martin Moran.
The 22-year-old was shot in south Belfast while making a delivery and died two days later.
Martin had become a father just a few weeks before he was killed. His daughter Amanda, who is now 20, has spoken to UTV about the father she never knew.
She said: "I know I am not the only person in Northern Ireland that feels robbed because many people have lost family members but he was my daddy and I was only five weeks.
My daddy would still be here if all that conflict hadn't started.
"You cannot remember anything when you are five weeks old, you don't know what is going on but you just feel empty. That is my daddy, my daddy should be here."
More innocent Catholics would lose their lives at the hands of the UDA and the UVF, settling a score for the Shankill - something the Shankill families never wanted.
Sean Fox, a 72-year-old father of four and President of St Enda's GAA club, was shot dead in his home in Glengormley on Monday 25 October.
The next day there was more bloodshed at the Kennedy Way Cleansing depot in west Belfast.
Two gunmen posing as council workers sprayed the yard with around 60 shots, killing 28-year-old Mark Rodgers and 54-year-old James Cameron.
Connie Rodgers said: "It's another year of facing not being able to see him or speak to him, the years don't get any easier. I think sometimes they get worse and like this on big anniversaries, 20th anniversary it's harder, it's unbearable at times really."
For two decades Connie's family have kept and cherished a note from a Shankill survivor.
It reads: "The slaughter was not carried out in my name, nor in the name of thousands like me. I deeply grieve the tragedy and I extend my sympathy and prayers to the broken hearted.
"May God guide you through your sorrow and give you strength to endure the awful pain. May he guide all of us to learn how to respect each other."
The death toll continued to rise on 29 October when paramilitaries targeted the home of the Cairns family in Bleary just outside Lurgan.
Brothers Rory and Gerard, 18 and 22, were shot dead in front of their 11-year-old sister.
By that Friday, in all 15 innocent people had been killed in a week of frenzied blood-letting as Northern Ireland was left reeling and families were left to pick up the pieces.
But it wasn't over yet, as the next day's murders in Greysteel had already been planned.
© UTV News