Republican News · Thursday 24 August 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Clonard rally attacked

Two thousand people marched through the Clonard area in Belfast last Sunday when a memorial garden in Bombay Street was officially opened.

The event was organised by the Greater Clonard ex-prisoners association

The crowd stopped at the home of local republican and GAA stalwart Dessi Reynolds, who died last Friday, and observed a minute's silence.

When the parade reached Bombay Street, Terry O'Neill welcomed the presence of Joe Cahill, Madge McConville, John Oliver and Greta Nolan, who unveiled the plaques at the garden remembering those from the area who have lost their lives in the conflict.

The main speaker was Albert Allen, chair of the Greater Clonard Ex-Prisoners Association. He said that the garden would be a memorial to those who lost their lives over the long years of the struggle and a way for their families and friends to honour their loved ones.

Allen also praised the people of the Clonard area for their determination to withstand British incarceration from the 1920s to the present day.

During the event, however, the crowd was however reminded of how far genuine peace is from being a reality. Loyalist gangs threw stones, bricks, bottles and other missiles over the peace line. There were several injuries, including to a one-year-old child, who was sleeping in her pram when she was hit on the head with a stone.

``Even on a day like this we are still being attacked by loyalist thugs,'' said Albert Allen. ``What they don't understand is that the people of this area have lived through the burning of our homes in 1969 and recent attacks. They will never lie down.''

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