Sam Marshall - a committed activist
THE untimely death of Sam Marshall in Lurgan has robbed not only a family of a loving son, but also the republican family of a trusted and committed activist, who in his 31 short years of life, served faithfully in the cause and suffered much for his beliefs. The solemn dignity and respect with which Lurgan republican Sam Marshall was buried contrasted sharply with the intimidatory and brutal presence of crown forces normal at republican funerals in recent years.
From early morning on Saturday 10 March, friends and comrades of the 31-year-old republican, shot dead by pro-British gunmen on Wednesday, 7 March, gathered at the Marshall family home in the staunchly nationalist Kilwilkie Estate.
British forces, who were present in large numbers in the town, blocked roads, stopped and searched mourners and massed their armoured vehicles in side streets and roads near the cemetery. British soldiers attached to the UDR and wearing full battle fatigues stood in a cluster yards from the church, laughing and identifying mourners.
During Reqiuem Mass, the parish priest, Michael Hackett, echoed calls made by Sinn Féin for a full and independent inquiry into the circumstances of the killing, which has heightened fear of more random sectarian killings in an area which has experienced so many such killings in the past.
Phoblacht, 15 March 1990