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27 November 2017 Edition

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Patsy ‘Skin’ Burns, Belfast

Skin was involved to the Prisoners Dependants Fund/Green Cross and looked after the welfare of political prisoners, their families and the families of our fallen comrades.

PATSY BURNS – ‘Skin’ – was a patriot. He was a staunch republican. Skin was a rebel all day long.  

He was born in 1935 and witnessed many decades of injustice and brutality.  He often spoke with great passion about the hardship that people endured.

As a young boy, Patsy witnessed our communities being attacked by loyalist mobs throughout different times, throughout the many decades and the families that were bereaved as a result, including his own.

Skin knew generations of Carrickhill families, he knew their hardships, their struggles and he was proud to be part of the change that came from the 1960’s right through to present day.

Patsy was involved in the Pearse’s GAC from the 1960s, along with others from ‘The Hill’.  

Locally he was instrumental in the promotion of Irish Culture, through the GAA and the craobh for the Irish language, but he will be best remembered by many for his role in the IRA. For anyone aged in their late 50s and beyond who served in the ranks of Óglaigh na hÉireann, Patsy probably swore half of them in. 

He was interned in the 1970s and he saw the impact that political imprisonment had in our areas.

Skin was involved to the Prisoners Dependants Fund/Green Cross and looked after the welfare of political prisoners, their families and the families of our fallen comrades.

Patsy and others from this area were responsible for the memorial garden because they wanted to have a fitting tribute to all the people who died from Carrick Hill.  

Patsy was tuned in big time, he put me through my paces and put all different scenarios to me and wanted to talk about strategy and reminded me that it wasn’t just about uniting a country, it was “getting the right type of a united Ireland”.

Skin reminded us all that we have to make a difference to people’s lives. For him, that’s what it’s all about.

Blue Kelly so aptly described in his insertion in one newspaper as “the great disagreer”; he was also the great debater, the great friend and then some.  

Our children and grandchildren must be told about the many who came before us, the people like Skin and what they all did for us.

I’ll finish with these words

Some died by the glenside, some died mid the stranger,

And wise men have told us, their cause was a failure,

But they stood by old Ireland and never feared danger,

Glory O, Glory O, to the bold Fenian men

Suaimhneas síoraí dá anam uasal, Skin

By Carál Ní Chuilín

GUE-NGL-new-Jan-2106

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1
Ireland
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