Programme of events launched to commemorate 25th anniversary of the Loughgall Martyrs
Published: 13 April, 2012
SF members and representatives of the Loughgall Martyrs families pictured at the launch of the commemorative programme of events.
Members of Sinn Féin along with representatives of the families of the Loughgall Martyrs gathered at the Republican monument in Cappagh on Thursday evening to launch a programme of events to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Loughgall ambush.
On 8th May 1987, 8 Volunteers of the IRA's East Tyrone Brigade, along with a civilian were shot dead by the SAS at Loughgall in Co. Armagh.
The programme of events consists of a boxing tournament in Clonoe on 4th May, a hike in the Sperrins on 5th May, a commemorative lecture in Moy on 7th May and a commemoration at the Republican monument in Cappagh at 7pm on 8th May. The commemoration precedes an anniversary mass organized by the families in St John's Chapel, Galbally at 8pm on 8th May.
Speaking at the launch, veteran Republican Stan Corrigan said "The attack at Loughgall had a huge impact on the Republican community and for the IRA was the biggest single loss of life since the Clonmult ambush in County Cork on 21st February 1921. On that occasion, 14 volunteers lost their lives when they were ambushed by the Black and Tans.
"I personally knew all of the volunteers who were killed and can say that they were among the finest men I have ever met. They were highly regarded within their communities and were much loved sons, brothers, husbands, partners and fathers.
"Everyone remembers exactly where they were when the sad news filtered through and we remember the sense of numbness and pain as people could not come to terms with what had happened. We feel it is important that their courage and sacrifice is always remembered and we are very proud to launch this commemorative programme.
"The series of events that we have put together is designed to appeal to people of all ages, interests and abilities and to represent the lives of the lads. The boxing tournament and mountain hike reflect the vigour, youth, self discipline and energy of the volunteers, while the memorial lecture and commemoration are reminders of the political and social context of armed struggle and the sacrifices that have been made in the fight for Irish freedom.
"This is going to be an emotional yet proud occasion for the Republican community as we come together to remember the Loughgall Martys on their 25th anniversary. This sense of pride and pain will be more acutely felt by the volunteer's families as they remember their loved ones.
"As a member of the Tyrone SF Commemoration Committee, I am calling on all Republicans to remember the courage and sacrifice of the Loughgall Martyrs and to take part in this programme of events to commemorate their lives".
Details of all events can be accessed on www.tyronecommemorations.com and www.sperrinschallenge.com