14 February 2018
On this day - John Davey remembered
" For generations of republicans John Davey was a fearless republican representative who voiced the political beliefs of a community which refused to be intimidated into dropping their just demands."
It was on Valentine’s Day 1989 that Sinn Féin Councillor John Davey was murdered outside his family home in Gulladuff as he returned from a monthly meeting of Magherafelt District Council.
John was shot two days after the murder of Pat Finucane who was also killed by a loyalist gang controlled by British intelligence agencies.
John Davey had been active since the 1950s and spent two and a half years interned in Crumlin Road prison. He played a pivotal role in the 1960s Civil Rights movement before being interned again for two years in 1971, spending time in Magilligan prison, on the prison ship Maidstone, and then in the cages of Long Kesh years.
In July 1977 he was arrested again and was held for seven months before the charges were dismissed.
In 1983 John ran as the Sinn Féin Westminster candidate for East Derry and two years later he won a seat on Magherafelt District Council and served the community well until he was gunned down in 1989.
Martin McGuinness once described John as being “a colossus of a man in terms of his contribution to the republican struggle” and said he helped to lay “the foundation stone for republicanism here in south Derry during many years of struggle and personal sacrifice. He would indeed be truly proud of the achievements of local republican activists across his local area today. Because of the sacrifice of men and women like John Davey, the flame of freedom burns brighter across Ireland today than that at any other time since partition.”
For generations of republicans John Davey was a fearless republican representative who voiced the political beliefs of a community which refused to be intimidated into dropping their just demands.
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An initiative for dialogue
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Contributions from key figures in the churches, academia and wider civic society as well as senior republican figures