8 May 2008 Edition

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Remembering Ballymurphy Volunteers

AS PART of a five year plan to commemorate and celebrate the lives of deceased Volunteers from the Ballymurphy area of West Belfast The Remember Our Volunteers Committee has organised a number of events aimed at remembering two young men who were killed by the British army.
Volunteer Jimmy Quigley and Volunteer Eddie ‘Mundo’ O’Rawe as well as Volunteer James ‘Spotter’ Murphy will be remembered when plaques in their memory will be unveiled.
The plaque unveiling will be held on Sunday, 18 May with people being asked to assemble at the shops on Brittons Parade at 1.30pm before parading to Quigley’s house on Britton’s Parade before making it’s way to Moyard for the unveiling of the memorial to Volunteer O’Rawe and his uncle Volunteer Murphy who died in 1986 of natural causes after a lifetime of service to the republican cause.
Afterwards the Remember Our Volunteers Committee will premiere a DVD recounting the lives of all three Volunteers in the Sliabh Dubh.
Volunteer Jimmy Quigley was shot dead by the British army on 29 September 1972. The young Volunteer was waiting to ambush a British patrol in the Lower Falls area when he was killed. Afterwards British soldiers threw his body from the upstarts window of the chemist where he was killed.
In the aftermath of the shooting the IRA engaged the British army and killed a member of the Royal Anglican Regiment. As the gun battle raged members of the group known as the ‘Official’ IRA attacked the British and one of their members, 20-year-old Patricia McKay was killed. In an unprecedented move Volunteers from Belfast Brigade’s D Company paid tribute to the 20-year-old ‘Official’ IRA Volunteer for her bravery in engaging the Brits. Given the animosities that existed in the area the salute was remarkable.
As with Jimmy Quigley, Volunteer Eddie ‘Mundo’ O’Rawe was a member of the IRA’s D Company although their families were from the Greater Ballymurphy area.
Volunteer O’Rawe was shot and killed by the British army on 12 April 1973. He and another man where fleeing from a British army patrol when they were shot in an entry at the back of Cape Street in the Lower Falls area.
Despite the claims of British soldiers that Volunteer O’Rawe and his comrade were armed an inquest heard that forensics experts had not found any evidence that the men had handled weapons.
Speaking to An Phoblacht Mickey Russell and Lisa Moody of the Remember Our Volunteers Committee explained that the thinking behind the project was, “to preserve the memory of the Volunteers who died and to celebrate their lives as well as create a deeper understanding of the cause for which they died, especially among younger people”.

An Phoblacht
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Dublin 1
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