IRA volunteers praised at new monument
Published Date: 29 September 2009
By Staff reporter
More than 300 people attended the unveiling of a new monument to commemorate dead IRA volunteers from the Bogside and Brandywell area on Sunday afternoon.
The monument was unveiled in the republican remembrance garden on Lecky Road by Charlie McSheffrey and Conal McCool, relatives of two of the IRA men from the area who died during the Troubles.
The event was organised by the Derry Republican Graces
Association and was attended by Sinn Féin MP Martin McGuinness as well as Foyle MLAs Martina Anderson and Raymond McCartney.
The commemoration was chaired by Caoimhin McGettigan and the main speaker was leading Derry Republican, William McGuinness, a brother of the Deputy First Minister.
Mr McGuinness said republicans involved in work to improve local communities should not be deterred by criticisms from dissident republicans. “Republicans are working hard in all areas of society to bring about justice and peace and to reach the ultimate aim of a 32 County Socialist Republic and to make these fitting communities for future generations. We need to participate in this vital work
“We are under no illusions that there are those who are trying daily to wreck that good work. They must not succeed,” he said.
Mr McGuinness also praised the IRA volunteers from the area who are commemorated on the new monument.
“They where ordinary people who lived in extraordinary times. People who sprang to the forefront of their communities in the Bogside, Brandywell and Bishop Street areas They were decent people and we grieve for them today as when they fell and we share the sense of loss with their families and friends and those who seek to vilify or criminalise them will never succeed,” he said.
During the ceremony, young people from the area stood on a hill overlooking the monument carrying pictures of the 16 IRA volunteers who died during the Troubles. It ended with a lament sung by Sara Griffin.
Please pay particular attention to the italicized portion of Mr. William McGuinness’s statement above.