25 September 2008 Edition

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West Tyrone commemoration in Strabane on Saturday

THE annual West Tyrone Volunteers Commemoration will be held in Strabane this Saturday, 27 September, and organisers have urged that local people turn out in large numbers to pay a fitting tribute to all local republicans who have laid down their lives in the cause of Irish freedom.
Sinn Féin Councillor and Chairperson of Strabane District Council Jarlath McNulty said:
“The memory of local republicans on the West Tyrone Roll of Honour and Roll of Remembrance is deeply cherished within the local community and the Annual West Tyrone Volunteers Commemoration provides an opportunity for people to show that their sacrifice has not and will not be forgotten.
“I therefore call for a large turn-out at this Saturday’s commemorative events so as to pay fitting tribute to the memory of all local republicans who have laid down their lives in the cause of Irish freedom.”
Echoing this call and outlining details of the commemoration events, Jay McCauley, Chairperson of Strabane National Graves, said:         
 “The people of this area have continually demonstrated their support and respect for our fallen republican dead and I would once again call on people to come along and remember with pride the republican dead from this area.”

This year’s annual commemoration parade sets off from Ballycolman shops at 5pm on Saturday.
It will make its way over the bridge to Townsend Street  where a wreath will be laid at the Hunger Strike Memorial  before continuing on its way to the Republican Plot at Strabane Cemetery.
Following the paying of tributes, the commemoration will be addressed by guest speaker Donegal Sinn Féin Councillor Pádraig Mac Lochlainn.
Following proceedings at the Republican Plot, the parade will make its way to Fountain Street Community Centre where tea/coffee and sandwiches will be served and where there will be a special screening of The Gibraltar/ Milltown Martyrs: A 20th Anniversary Commemorative Documentary.
Many Tyrone people were at the funerals of Mairéad Farrell, Dan McCann and Seán Savage on 16 March 1998 when it was attacked by British state-sponsored killer Michael Stone, an attack which resulted in the deaths of Volunteer Caoimhín Mac Brádaigh, John Murray and Thomas McErlean. Jay McAuley said:
“This powerful documentary is guaranteed to evoke many sad memories of this time and so I would also encourage as many people as possible to also attend this commemoration event.”

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