West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Patrick Shanaghan remembered

Published: 12 August, 2011

The late Mary Shanaghan, mother of Patrick pictured beside Patrick's square on the Remembering Quilt, which is currently on display in Aghyaran hall.

The late Mary Shanaghan, mother of Patrick pictured beside Patrick's square on the Remembering Quilt, which is currently on display in Aghyaran hall.

On Friday evening, Republicans from Tyrone and Donegal assembled at the Aghyaran graveside of Sinn Féin member, Patrick Shanaghan who was ambushed and murdered by Unionist paramilitaries on 12th August 1991.

The commemoration was preceded by an anniversary mass which was celebrated by Patrick's friend, Fr Joe Mc Veigh.

Speaking at the gathering, which was part of a series of events to commemorate Patrick's life, SF Councillor Kieran Mc Guire said:

'It is an honour for me to speak at the graveside of a true Irishman and patriot, Patrick Shanaghan. Patrick was murdered by agents of the state 20 years ago, after years of threats and harassment by crown forces.

'The truth about Patrick's death has yet to be told, but along with his family, we will continue the search for answers.

During the proceedings, floral tributes were laid by Patrick's family and on behalf of Sinn Féin and the Tyrone SF Commemoration Committee.

A wreath was laid by Paddy Devlin from the Castlederg/Aghyaran Justice group, which took the Shanaghan case to the European Court of Human Rights. The committee also spearheaded a community inquiry into the circumstances surrounding his death.

A wreath was also laid by Liam Gallen on behalf of Comhaltas Ceolteoiri Eireann in recognition of Patrick's love of Irish culture, music, dance and song.

During the proceedings Patricks nephew Conor played one of his favourite tunes on the flute, while Frankie Devine sang a very powerful rendition of the 'Innocent Man' which he penned in memory of Patrick.

The proceedings were addressed by Patrick's sister, Mary. During a very poignant reflection Mary said:

'It is hard to believe that 20 years has elapsed since the death of Patrick. I wish to pay tribute to the community who supported our Mother, in the very difficult years after Patrick's murder. No doubt she is now resting in peace alongside him.

'Despite the passing of time and the fact that the case was brought before the European Courts of Human Rights, our family still do not know the full facts surrounding his death.

She concluded 'I am confident that Patrick would be very proud of the events that are taking place to commemorate his life. We will always remember him as the dancing man who loved his music, his friends and his country'.