Irish Republican News · November 24, 2003
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
John Davey remembered

A Sinn Fein councillor was remembered yesterday by family, friends and party activists on the 15th anniversary of his murder in County Derry.

John Davey, who served on Magherafelt District Council, was described at the commemoration in the town as a ``giant of a man'' by west Belfast assembly member Bairbre De Brun.

``John Davey's contribution to republican politics cannot be underestimated,'' she said.

Mr Davey, was shot by the UVF on February 14 1989 as he drove his car into the driveway of his home near Maghera.

He had been returning from a meeting of Magherafelt District Council, to which he had first been elected in 1985. He had survived a previous murder attempt in 1988.

Mr Davey had been interned on separate occasions in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

Two years prior to his assassination, the then-MP for Mid Ulster, William McCrea of the DUP, had used parliamentary immunity to describe Mr Davey as an IRA member.

``John was a lifelong republican. He dominated the whole scene here locally for many years,'' Ms De Brun said.

``(He) provided inspiration to a whole generation of republicans who were impressed by his courage, his strength and his commitment.''

Ms De Brun went on to add that there had long been suspicions of collusion between state forces and the loyalists who carried out the murder.

``He was in his own laneway, 50 yards from home. The fact that his car was stationary at the time of the shooting fuelled suspicions of collusion in his killing,'' she said.

``These suspicions were further fuelled when the family were told his inquest papers were destroyed,'' she added.

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© 2003 Irish Republican News