Private Wiley Harris was having a night out in North Queen Street, Belfast, on MARCH 6th, 1944, when a local man, Harry Coogan, approached him and asked him if he wanted a woman. A price of £1 was agreed and Coogan took Private Harris to an air raid shelter at the top of Earl Street. There Eileen Megaw was waiting.
The £1 fee was handed over to Eileen in coins and she and Private Harris went into the shelter. They had only just begun what couples do in such circumstances when Coogan, waiting outside, shouted that the police were coming. The couple rushed out, but there was no sign of any police. Private Harris wanted to go back into the shelter with Eileen, but she now seemed reluctant and refused.
When the soldier indignantly asked for his money back, Eileen decided to cut and run. As she went, the coins began to fall from her purse, and Private Harris calmly followed her, picking them up. At this point Coogan hit him. Harris drew a knife and in the ensuing brawl stabbed Coogan 17 times.
A court-martial decided that the severity of that attack justified a verdict of murder and Private Wiley Harris was hanged on May 26th, 1944.