1 April 2004 Edition

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Geordie Shannon

Despite his advancing years, Belfast republican Geordie Shannon, who died on 14 March aged 78, was actively involved in the struggle for Irish freedom until illness made this impossible. He had suffered ill health for most of the past ten years.

Geordie was no stranger to self-sacrifice and republican activism and was first sentenced to ten years' penal servitude in the early 1940s. He served part of that sentence with his older brother Billy, who is also deceased.

Following his release, Geordie, along with a number of other former prisoners founded the Irish Republican Felons Association and the National Graves Association.

Geordie married Mary Gilmore in 1949 and they lived in the Falls area of Belfast, where they started their own family, little knowing that in the turbulent years ahead, four of them would serve prison sentences in the cause of freedom. Like Geordie Shannon's own mother before her, Mary would visit him and their sons and daughter during the 1970s and 1980s while they were incarcerated in Britain's prisons.

Geordie was a republican stalwart who supported and encouraged all things Irish throughout his life. It was said that while he never mastered the Irish language, he tried 100 classes hoping to become fluent!

A regular visitor to the Ard Scoil, he and Mary were keen to support céilí dancing, but Geordie was also a committed Volunteer and was key in reorganising the IRA after the 1956 campaign. His commitment to republicanism was invaluable and he was an expert on republican protocol, drilling and training.

He had what was described as a classic military bearing. In reality, what Geordie had was self-discipline, which was the hallmark of all aspects of his life. Most who knew Geordie knew him to be tough, strict yet adaptable to all forms of struggle.

First arrested on 9 August 1971, Geordie Shannon was interned twice between 1971 and 1975. The British Army and RUC knew that Geordie was a formidable republican activist who was highly respected within the ranks of Óglaigh na hÉireann and crucially, within the nationalist community in Belfast. He was accused of republican activism over many years by crown forces, but Geordie's commitment and experience meant he evaded further imprisonment.

Geordie debated the many twists and turns in the struggle throughout his long republican career and never refused to play his part to the full until ill health made it impossible.

Geordie shared over 50 years with Mary, who was his soul mate. He was a loving family man and will be missed by both the Shannon and Gilmore family circles. Geordie Shannon will also be missed by the many he inspired over the years as he stood firm against British occupation in Ireland.

This lifelong republican is survived by his wife Mary (Gilmore) and sons and daughters Eileen, Mary, Pat, Margaret, Liam, Michael and Brendan.

I measc laochra na nGael a raibh sé.

I nDíl Chuimhne

Apr. 1st 1980: Vol Robert Carr, Newry Brigade; Apr. 2nd 1987: Vol Laurence Marley, Belfast Brigade, 3rd Battalion; Apr. 2ND 1992: Danny Cassidy, Sinn Féin; Apr. 4th 1971: Vol Tony Henderson, Belfast Brigade, 1st Batt; Apr. 4th 1989: Vol Gerard Casey, North Antrim Brigade; Apr. 4th 1994: Vol John O'Rawe, Belfast Brigade, 1st Batt. "We have no right to believe that freedom can be won without struggle." - Che Guevara. Forever and always remembered by their many friends and comrades in the Republican Movement.

CAMPBELL, Patrick (32nd Ann). In proud and loving memory of my brother Volunteer Patrick Campbell, killed on active service on 25 March 1972. RIP. St Patrick pray for him. Never mare than a thought away loved and remembered everyday. Missed always your brother Anthony, Bernie and family.

CAMPBELL, Patrick (32nd Ann). In proud and loving memory of my brother Volunteer Patrick Campbell killed on active service on 25 March 1972. RIP. St Martin pray for him. Those we love don't walk away they walk beside us every day. Always loved and remembered by your sister Kathleen, Colum and family.

CAMPBELL, Patrick (32nd Ann). In proud and loving memory of my brother Volunteer Patrick Campbell killed on active service on 25 March 1972. RIP. St Anthony pray for him. Will those who think of him today a little prayer to Jesus say. Always loved and remembered by your sister Anne and family.

CASEY, Gerard (15th Ann). In proud and loving memory of my dear brother Volunteer Gerard Casey, murdered on 4 April 1989 by pro-British death squads. A gentle smile we can't replace. Always loved and remembered by Eamon, Ann and family.

CASEY, Gerard (15th Ann). In proud and loving memory of my dear uncle Volunteer Gerard Casey, murdered on 4 April 1989 by pro-British death squads. Always loved, never forgotten by Natasha.

CASEY, Gerard (15th Ann). In proud and loving memory of my dear brother Volunteer Gerard Casey, murdered on 4 April 1989 by pro-British death squads. Those who think of him today a little prayer to Jesus say. Always remembered by his sister Rosaleen.

CASEY Gerard (15th Ann). In proud and loving memory of Volunteer Gerard Casey, murdered on 4 April 1989. RIP. St Gerard pray for him. All our lives we miss you, as years may come and go. But God alone can tell you, Dad. How much we loved you so. Always loved and never forgotten by his daughter Tara and grandson Gerard.

CASEY Gerard (15th Ann). In proud and loving memory of Volunteer Gerard Casey, murdered on 4 April 1989. RIP. A silent grief, but in our hearts no human eyes can trace, for many a broken heart is hid beneath a smiling face. Always loved and remembered by his son Paul, Noeleen and granddaughter Orla.

CASEY Gerard (15th Ann). In proud and loving memory of Volunteer Gerard Casey, Oglaigh na hÉireann, who was murdered on 4 April 1989 by the enemies of Ireland. Mary Queen of the Gael pray for him. Always remembered by Bodie and Carmel.

CASEY Gerard (15th Ann). In proud and loving memory of Volunteer Gerard Casey, Oglaigh na hÉireann, who was murdered on 4 April 1989 by pro-British agents. The fools, the fools, they have left us our Fenian dead while Ireland holds these graves Ireland unfree shall never be at peace." - Always remembered by Seán, Brigid and family.

CASEY Gerard (15th Ann). In proud and loving memory of Volunteer Gerard Casey, murdered on 4 April 1989. RIP. Your memories we treasure, with thoughts sincere. We think of you often, not just once a year. Remembered always by Una, Kevin, Geraldine.

CASEY Gerard (15th Ann). In proud and loving memory of Volunteer Gerard Casey, Oglaigh na hÉireann, who was murdered on 4 April 1989 by loyalist thugs in collusion with the RUC. Proudly remembered by the North Antrim Comhairle Ceantair, SF; Gerard Casey SF Rasharkin; By the Hogan/Martin SF Cumann, Dunloy; By the Roger Casement SF Cumann, Ballycastle; By the Paddy Kinney SF Cumann, Glens of Antrim; By the Counties Derry/Antrim Republican Grave Association.

CASSIDY, Danny (12th Ann). In proud and loving memory of Volunteer Danny Cassidy, who was murdered on 2 April 1992 by loyalist thugs in collusion with the RUC. From the South Derry Comhairle Ceantair, Sinn Féin; McCusker/McMullan/O'Hagan Sinn Féin Cumann, Swatragh; Casement/Kelly/Highstead Sinn Féin Cumann, Maghera; Fergal O'Hanlon/John Davey Sinn Féin Cumann, Lavey; Thomas McElwee Sinn Féin Cumann, Greenlough; Séamus Steele Sinn Féin Cumann, Newbridge; Magherafelt Sinn Féin Cumann; Ballinascreen Sinn Féin Cumann; Hughes/Connolly /McElwee Sinn Féin Cumann, Bellaghy; Counties Derry & Antrim Republican Graves Association.

HOLLAND, Cathal (1st Ann). In memory of lifelong republican Cathal Holland, whose anniversary occurs at this time. From Dessie Carmichael.

HOLLAND, Cathal (1st Ann). In memory of republican Cathal Holland, whose anniversary occurs at this time. From the Republican Movement, Dublin.

HOLLAND, Cathal (1st Ann). In memory of republican, gaeilgeoir and story teller Cathal Holland. From the staff of An Phoblacht/Republican News. From all his friends in Head Office, Sinn Féin.

KELLY, James (11th Ann). In proud and loving memory of Volunteer James Kelly, Oglaigh na hÉireann, who was murdered by pro-British agents on 25 March 1993. I'll wear no convict's uniform, nor meekly service my time, that British might brand Ireland's fight 800 years of crime. Always remembered with love and pride by Daddy, Mairéad, Séamus and Grace. (Notice re-printed from last week due to typing error. Apologies to the Kelly family).

MARLEY, Larry (17th Ann). In loving memory of Volunteer Larry Marley, murdered by the UVF on 2 April 1987. Always remembered by his friend Eileen.

McCABE, Pat (31st Ann). In proud and loving memory of our friend and comrade Volunteer Pat McCabe who died on 27 March 1973. Mary Queen of the Gael pray for him. Always remembered by his friends in the McCaughy/Saunders SF Cumann, Ogra Shinn Féin and Amach agus Isteach.

WHELAN, Desmond (7th Ann). In loving memory. Gone but not forgotten. From Uncle Hughie and Auntie May.

Comhbhrón

BRADLEY. SF na Gaillimhe and the Margaret Joyce SF Cumann, North Connemara offer their sympathy to Teresa Bradley on the death of her son Mark Bertram.

CAFFREY. Deepest sympathy to Jessie Caffrey and family on the death of his wife Delores. From Gerry and Helen, Dublin.

McCANN, SF na Gaillimhe and the Noel McCann SF Cumann, Ballinasloe offer their sympathy to Dáithí Mac an Bhaid on the death of his grandad.


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