26 June 2008 Edition

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McManus and Crossan to be remembered 50 years on

The deaths of two republicans 50 years ago are to be marked at the end of the month by a series of commemorative events and the publication of a booklet.
Patrick McManus and James Crossan were both killed in 1958 at the height of the IRA’s Resistance Campaign (1956-’62).
IRA Volunteer Patrick McManus, O/C of the IRA’s South Fermanagh Brigade, died on an isolated country road on the Cavan/Fermanagh border near Swanlinbar, on 15 July 1958 when a bomb he was transporting exploded. A highly respected guerilla leader, his death occurred in the context of a series of IRA attacks across the Six Counties on 15, 16 and 17 July.
James Crossan, the Sinn Féin Organiser for County Cavan, was assassinated by crown forces on 24 August 1958. Crossan’s murder was the cause of some controversy not least because he was unarmed and was killed by the RUC in the 26 County jurisdiction but also because many believed that he was lured to his death.
As well as being a prominent member of Sinn Féin in Cavan, James Crossan was also a member of Óglaigh na hÉireann and was the last IRA Volunteer to die in the 1956-’62 campaign.
Historian Ruan O’Donnell will deliver a lecture in the Mountview Hotel, Derrylin, County Fermanagh on Saturday, 5 July on the events surrounding the deaths of Patrick McManus and James Crossan. The Mountview will also host a republican exhibition of material from the period of the Border Campaign.
The following day, Sunday 6 July will see a Commemorative march and rally in Swanlibar. The main speaker will by Sinn Féin Minister and Fermanagh/South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew.
A 50-page commemorative booklet, Patrick McManus, James Crossan and the Border Campaign is being published to coincide with the anniversary events. The publication details the lives and deaths of the two republicans and includes recollections from some of their friends, comrades and neighbours.

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