12 June 2003 Edition

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'B' Coy monument unveiled


There were a few dark clouds threatening rain, but it never came. Instead, hundreds of people enjoyed the sunshine and warm weather when they turned out for the unveiling of a new republican momument in Andersontown, West Belfast.

The memorial is the latest result of the tireless efforts of the Andersonstown Ex-POW Association and the generous donations of the local community, and it was unveiled by Leo Wilson and Rosaleen Walsh this past Sunday, 8 June.

The Commemoration Stone itself is carved from polished granite and is striking in its design - showing a male and female Volunteer on each side, and an outline of Ireland with a Easter Lily on the front. It is dedicated not only to the fallen IRA Volunteers of 'B' Company, but also to those local heroes who fed and clothed those volunteers, who opened their doors for safe houses and billets, and "kept the Thompson or Armalite under their mattresses".

In short, the monument is a celebration of the spirit of Irish resistance in all its forms, and all in attendance remarked on its beauty.

The march was led by a colour party, representatives of ex-prisoners groups, and a rearguard composed entirely of republican women. Wreaths of rememberance were laid by families and comrades before a statement from the Belfast Brigade of Óglaigh na hÉireann was read to the crowd.

The day's keynote address was given by Sinn Féin's Martin Meehan. He told the assembled audience that he was humbled to have an opportunity to pay tribute to those who had died in the struggle for Irish liberation.

"This monument is dedicated to the Volunteers of 'B' Company and republicans from this area who were killed by British Crown forces. They died in the pursuit of freedom, justice, equality and peace. I am humbled to be speaking here today and it is a deep honour and privilege for me to be among the friends and relatives of 'B' Company."

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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