Irish Republican News · October 3, 2015
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: The crime of being Catholic, 40 years on
The crime of being Catholic, 40 years on

peggyhale.jpg

The sister of a Catholic woman murdered by the Glennane Gang has spoken out in search of justice for Peggy Hale, 40 years after her death.

The mother of five was just 32 when she died 18 days after two gunmen stormed the pub in which she was sitting with family near Loughgall - before throwing a bomb through the door on September 4, 1975.

Peggy was just 32 when she died as a result of injuries from a loyalist attack against a Loughgall bar. Left with serious internal injuries, Peggy never returned to consciousness before passing away on September 22.

She was visiting from her home in England, where she moved with her Protestant husband Walter in 1964.

Describing the events of that fateful night, Kathy said: “The door was kicked open and two gunmen came in. They finally finished shooting, but then one came back and threw a green duffle bag in... [and] the bomb went off.

“There was 12 taken to hospital that night... and seemly whenever they were in Craigavon Hospital, Craigavon is supposed to have had a call to find out ‘how many Fenians did we get?’

“When we realised that this was the Glennane Gang, nothing was off-limits.”

The gang, the deadliest in the conflict, united members of the British Army, RUC police, and loyalist paramilitaries in a long series of sectarian and political killings.

To this day no-one has ever been held to account for the murder of Peggy Hale - although the family is hopeful of answers.

“We were told a short time afterwards that it was this Glennane Gang that murdered her,” her sister Kathy told this paper, “but we were afraid to talk about it.

“The thing that sickened us more was that these were people that were paid, that wore uniforms, to protect us.

“My father was a Scotsman and he was in British Army,” Kathy added, “but the way we were brought up everybody was the same and religion was never talked about at home.

“It’s the collusion part that I am so angry about. Whenever we got the HET report there was no evidence - the people you thought protected everyone had blood on their hands.

“Your only crime is that you’re Catholic.”

© 2015 Irish Republican News