30th anniversary of Drumbeg massacre


On the 30th anniversary of the brutal murders of Eileen Duffy (19), Katrina Rennie (16) and Brian Frizzell (29), families attended a quiet memorial for them in Craigavon last weekend.

The horrific massacre was claimed by the Protestant Action Force and understood to have been masterminded and ordered by UVF terrorist Billy Wright.

Because of the current COVID-19 restrictions, just small groups of families took part in the memorial event.

On March 28, 1991, two teenage girls were sitting behind the counter of a mobile shop in Drumbeg with a third teenager Jamie Smith.

The girls were talking among themselves when a van pulled up outside. A masked gunman wearing military style clothing and armed with a 9mm Browning pistol jumped out.

Most of those inside got out but the three girls were trapped behind the counter. The gunman pulled Jamie Smith by the hair and threw her out of the shop.

He then shot the two young girls, killing them. As the attack was ongoing, Brian Frizzell entered the shop and was shot as the gunman was leaving.

Speaking to the Lurgan Mail, Eileen’s brother Brendan Duffy, who was one of the first at the shop after the attack, said the family is still in grief 30 years later.

He believes those who were directly involved in the murders are still walking free.

He said: “As a family we have cleaned up the memorial garden and are going plant a few wee flowers to brighten it up for the anniversary.”

He said many people do come to lay floweres in memory of the three young people who had their lives taken 30 years ago.

“A special thanks to Seamie Belshaw who did the brickwork for the monument once again. He did a brilliant job. And Liam Knox for the maintenance of the grass cutting.

“They are thirty years gone but not forgotten. RIP Eileen, Brian and Katrina.”

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