Republican News · Thursday 13 August 1998

[An Phoblacht]

Saoirse rally in Strabane

Hundreds attended the Saoirse rally in Strabane last Thursday 6 August and were addressed by the Six-county Saoirse chairperson, Martin Meehan, and the west Tyrone SF Assembly representative, Barry McElduff.

Warmly received throughout the town centre, the parade, as it wound its way to the Fountain area in the Head of the Town, coincided with the opening of the local festival. Chaired by recently released local POW, Gary Breslin, the crowd assembled for the speeches just below the field where the Devine brothers and Charles Breslin were murdered in 1985 in a crown force shoot-to-kill ambush. Today it is marked by a single white cross.

McElduff spoke passionately of the men and women that would never return and of the disproportionate sacrifice made by the people of Strabane in the struggle and battle for the Irish people in the Six-counties.

Meanwhile Martin Meehan urged people to take a proactive stance on prisoner releases, not take anything for granted, to accelerate the programmes and to maximise street protests. He added that still no political prisoners had been released from jails in the Six-counties, that still six years after the repatriation act POWs were in British jails and that the release of political prisoners could only ever serve to strengthen the transition towards a peace settlement.

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