4 November 2012 Edition
Anthony ‘Dodger’ Morrow, Belfast
BORN into a family of seven in the early 1960s, Dodger lived for his first few years in the loyalist Rathcoole area of Belfast before the family were intimidated from their home and they moved to Twinbrook in west Belfast.As he got older, Dodger became more aware of the political situation around him and joined the Republican Movement. After a short time in Na Fianna Éireann, he joined Óglaigh na hÉireann in the same area where Bobby Sands had been O/C, something which made a lasting impression on him.Dodger proved to be a committed and courageous IRA Volunteer, qualities he exemplified throughout his long active service life. Over the years, he worked in numerous Army departments and was involved in many daring and successful operations.He was imprisoned in Portlaoise in the 1980s and whilst there he made many solid friendships. He immediately became active in the struggle upon his release. Within the Army he held many positions and showed great leadership over a long period. He led from the front and had the respect of his comrades.Beyond his family, Dodger’s other great commitment was to the Irish language. He learned the language in Portlaoise and became a muinteoir na Gaeilge in the prison’s Gaeltacht wing. He gave classes in the community on his release from prison and was especially proud of his family’s commitment to the language.True to form, when he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease last year, he faced the illness with great courage and resilience with his only concern being for his family.A measure of the love and respect in which the man was held came in February when his friends organised a support night for him in a local hotel. Upwards of a thousand comrades and friends travelled from all over Ireland to be with him that night. It was humbling to hear Dodger express surprise at the amount of people who were there for him.The love Dodger had for Mary and his five beautiful children was evident every time you saw them together. His brother, Eoin, was especially close to him and he was a great comfort to Dodger in the last months of his life.Dodger’s partner, Mary, has lost her soul-mate. His children have lost an adoring father. His mother and father, brother and sisters have lost a loving brother. And the republican family has just lost one of our best. We can all be proud to have known Dodger, a wonderful human being.
Slán, a chara.