26 November 2009 Edition
Hundreds attend funeral of Winnie Harte
WEST TYRONE MP Pat Doherty and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness were among the mourners at the funeral of Winnie Harte who passed away at her Loughmacrory home on Friday 20 November.
They joined hundreds of other mourners as Winnie’s Tricolour-draped coffin, flanked by members of the Drumnakilly Martyrs Committee and the Milligan/Harte Sinn Féin Cumann, made its way along the narrow country lane in Striffe to St Mary’s Chapel in Loughmacrory.
Following Mass by local curate Fr Mallon, the funeral made its way to the adjoining graveyard, pausing for a minute’s silence at the Republican Plot where her sons, IRA Volunteers Gerard and Martin, are buried.
Gerard and Martin Harte were killed in action at Drumnakilly with their comrade, Brian Mullin, on Tuesday 30 August 1988. Winnie was also predeceased by her daughter, Kathleen, who passed away in July 2009 and husband John, who died in 2005.
The main address was given by Pat Doherty MP.
During his oration, Pat Doherty said:
“Winnie was a woman of tremendous courage and dignity who faced more than her fair share of hardship in life. This included harassment and house raids by crown forces and the killing of Gerard and Martin at the hands of the British Army in August 1988.
“Winnie cared for her husband, John, for many years and earlier this year endured the untimely loss of her daughter, Kathleen. The impact of Kathleen’s death was compounded by the sudden death of her sister, Patsy, just over a month ago.
“Despite the hardship and suffering, Winnie never complained and always had an open door and warm welcome for everyone visiting her home. She was an extremely hard worker and provider for her family and someone who was extremely witty with a sharp sense of humour.
“Winnie will be sorely missed, particularly by her children – Seán, Neshey and Teresa – as well as her extended family. On behalf of Sinn Féin and the wider republican family, we would like to extend our heartfelt sympathy.”
• Volunteers Martin and Gerard Harte