Family mark tragedy, forty years on
Family mark tragedy, forty years on


A Portadown family have dedicated a plaque in memory of their mother who was murdered by the UVF in 1975.

Dorothy Trainor and her husband Malachy were gunned down on April 1, 1975, by loyalist sectarian killers. The couple were walking home from a night out at the British Legion Club when they were targeted because they were ‘mixed’ -- Dorothy was Protestant and Malachy was Catholic.

Malachy was hit in the chest and neck and survived, but his wife, who was shot in the back, died from her injuries.

It was the start of a campaign of extraordinary vindictiveness against the family.

Later that year in December the same gang tried to kill the entire family by placing a bomb against the gable wall of their home. It killed 17-year-old Ronald instantly. Three years later the UVF shot dead a second brother, Tommy.

Their son Frank, who was the eldest of the 11 siblings, returned from Australia when his mum was murdered and took over caring for his family.

“Our father was a broken man after the shooting and then the bombing,” said Frank. “One constable took a statement from me after the bomb and I never heard another thing about it. There was no real investigation into our mother’s murder or the bombing of our house.

“We don’t know why we were targeted - maybe because they were a mixed marriage. There was a lot of sectarianism in Portadown at the time.

“After our mother was murdered and then the bombing that killed Ronald, no-one ever called to our door, not a clergyman, not a single politician.”

Dorothy Trainor is buried in Drumcree Cemetery while her two sons are buried in the nearby Catholic graveyard - and her husband, who passed away in 1982, is interred in Milltown Cemetery.

The family gathered at the park this week, where they lost their mother 40 years ago, to dedicate a small plaque in her memory.

Another son Dessie said they will always remember her as a caring mother: “She would take you on her knee and hug you, she smelled of home.

“She was so full of love for all of us, she was blessed with an abundance of maternal love.

“She loved each and every one of us and made us all feel special. Life was brilliant - and then it all went mad.”

An Historical Enquiries Team report found there had been no proper investigation into the murder. The guns used point to her being another victim of the infamous Glenanne Gang, which was blamed for many such killings.

The gun that killed the 51-year-old originally belonged to a member of the UDR and a founding member of the modern UVF.

The same gun was later used in the attempted murder of Portadown man Patrick Turley and was one of the two weapons used to shoot republican fugitive John Francis Green in County Monaghan.

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© 2015 Irish Republican News