Irish Republican News · May 2, 2007
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Official IRA mark death of Johnny White

A man has been arrested after shots were fired at the funeral of former Official IRA leader Johnny White.

A PSNI unit swooped after rounds were fired over the coffin of Mr White, who died at the weekend in Derry. He had been ill for some time.

The Official IRA military funeral was held in the Creggan area at around 11.30am this morning.

Mr White was one of five civil rights activists involved in organising the 1968 October 5 civil rights march, which many believe marked the start of the Troubles. Coverage of police baton charging the march were beamed around the world.

At the time of the Bloody Sunday massacre in January 1972, Mr White was leader of the Official IRA, which had broken away from the Provisional IRA two years earlier.

Following Operation Motorman in Derry in 1972, when British forces invaded the Bogside, Mr White spent almost 20 years on the run in the 26 Counties during which time he was also involved with the republican socialist movement.

Mr White agreed to give evidence to the Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday and submitted a statement to the tribunal, but he was unable to give evidence in person due to illness.


Meanwhile, a Sinn Féin Omagh councillor has died after being gored by a bull in County Tyrone.

Michael McAnespie was killed at his farm near Loughmacrory at around 2.20pm yesterday. The animal was later shot dead by police.

Mr McAnespie, who had nine children, served on Omagh District Council for 10 years as a representative for the Mid-Tyrone area.

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams spoke of his “deep shock and sadness” at Mr McAnespie’s death.

“Michael was an extremely hard-working councillor who ably and conscientiously represented the people of Omagh,” he said.

“His loss will be deeply felt by all who knew him but especially by his family and friends. On behalf of Sinn Féin I want to extend my heartfelt sympathy and condolences to his wife Patricia and his nine children.”

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© 2007 Irish Republican News