Republican News · Thursday 26 October 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Volunteer Patsy Haughian

Republicans from across Armagh and indeed Ireland were saddened to learn of the death of death of Lurgan IRA Volunteer Patsy Haughian, who passed away at the of 38 in Newry Hospice on 24 September after a courageous three-year battle against cancer.

Patsy was married with four children, whom he dearly loved. Patsy himself came from a family of six, four boys and two girls. The Haughians are a well-known and respected family, originating from the Silverwood area. Patsy himself was a well-known and much loved character in North Lurgan town.

Patsy was always a strong minded republican who, seeing no other course open to the nationalist community and no other road to Irish unity, joined the IRA in the mid-'80s and almost immediately earned the respect of much more experienced Volunteers. Patsy suffered extreme harassment from enemy forces but his courage and great sense of humour always saw him through. The Brits, realising they would never break Patsy, attempted to recruit him as an informer. Offering a suitcase packed with money, they got in return a reply that left them in no doubt where Patsy's loyalties lay.

Despite every attempt to pin charges on Patsy, they failed. Patsy spent a sshort period of time on remand in Crumlin Road jail in the early 1990s but the charges were dropped, much to the frustration of the RUC Special Branch. Even after Patsy's death, the RUC Special Branch have been spreading malicious rumours in the tabloid press about Patsy.

Patsy's love of his family was central to his life. He also enjoyed fishing and had a great reputation among bird breeders for his collection of Golden Finches. Patsy had become known as the only man in Armagh who could successfully breed them.

The large crowd that gathered at Patsy's funeral was a sign of the high respect in which he was held. Patsy arranged his own funeral mass, with the Connolly family from Armagh City playing the uileann pipes and the offertory procession consisting of Long Kesh craft work donated by former republican prisoners. Patsy's family wish to express thanks to all who sympathised with them at this sad time and thank the staff of Newry Hospice for the care they gave Patsy.

I measc laochra na nGael a raibh sé.

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