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12 November 1998 Edition

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Large crowd remembers Edentubber Martyrs

The presence of massed ranks of pike men and women from Wexford and Fermanagh added a dignified symbolism to this year's annual Edentubber commemoration on the Louth/Armagh border on Sunday.

Among the pikemen was Bob Kehoe from Wexford who, 41 years ago, was one of a group of Wexford IRA Volunteers who travelled to the North Louth area to take part in the IRA campaign of the time. Two of his comrades, George Keegan and Paddy Parle, were killed in a premature explosion at Edentubber along with Volunteers Oliver Craven (Newry) and Paul Smith (Bessbrook) and Michael Watters who owned the farmhouse in which the explosion happened.

Bob Kehoe survived the campaign and in an emotional moment on Sunday, he layed a wreath in memory of his fallen comrades.

At 2,000, the turnout was the largest seen for the commemoration and the crowd heard Gerry Kelly give the main oration.

He praised those who died at Edentubber, saying they represented the same struggle which took place in 1798 and continues today.

In his speech Kelly said that David Trimble has takenm to blaming Sinn Féin for his own failings. ``He is denying nationalists access to the national aspects of the Good Friday Agreement, to a vibrant All-Ireland Council. David Trimble and the Unionists are the only ones to have broken the Agreement. They don't want to see the reality of equality between nationalists and unionists because this would mean that the power which is currently held in Unionist hands would have to be shared.''
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