Irish Republican News · October 14, 2010
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Large numbers take part in ‘illegal’ march

Over a thousand Irish Republicans Marched from Galbally Community centre to Galbally graveyard last weekend to remember IRA Volunteers Dessie Grew and Martin McCaughey who were killed by the SAS on IRA active service 20 years ago.

The march was part of a commemorative weekend of events that included political debates, a visit to the ambush site, an exhibition and the release of a DVD.

Over 500 packed into the community centre to watch the screening of a moving and occasionally humorous DVD, in which the ambush of the SAS in Cappagh was reconstructed.

The weekend events were organised by the PH Pearse Society and included an inquest discussion, a candlelit vigil, wreath-laying at the graves, as well as a visit to the ambush site.

The society was formed last year in the staunchly republican Cappagh and Galbally area, and now has over twenty active members.

A band marched behind the colour party and as participants fell in behind the band with their banners, a PSNI helicopter hovered over the parade.

Earlier in the day, members of the Grew and McCaughey families had been cautioned by the PSNI in regards to the march. Three other bands that were due to play had been threatened the day before by the Crown Forces and had to pull out of the event.

Despite the attentions of the PSNI, the march made its way from the hall to the graveyard, a distance of about a mile. A commemoration was held at Martin McCaughey’s graveside, where wreaths were laid on behalf of family friends and comrades.

The main oration was delivered by prominent local republican Brian Arthurs. He spoke of the hardships the area had borne during the war, the two Volunteers and how they had lived and died.

Mr Arthurs said that both men were Irish Republicans and that if it hadn’t been for informers they would probably still be alive today. He said informers had been the scourge of Irish Republicans down the generations and that it was “a total disgrace” that former comrades and members of the Republican Movement were now calling for Irish men to collaborate with the enemy and inform on Irish Republicans.

The Commemoration ended with the singing of the National anthem and tea and refreshments were served in Galbally hall.

Ulster Unionist Party leader Tom Elliott later slammed the parade and called for the PSNI to investigate it.

“I would question why the PSNI did not prevent this parade from taking place, given that it had not received approval,” he said.

“This cannot be a one-sided operation, with the unionist community playing by the rules while republicans do as they please.

“The next obvious step must be for the security services to take action.”

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