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8 January 1998 Edition

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Back issue: Murder-bid in Donagh

Ten years ago, on 15 December 1972, the nationalist community in Fermanagh was shocked to learn of the brutal murder of Louis Leonard, whose body was found locked up in a fridge in his Derrylin butcher's shop. The fact that nobody was ever charged with his murder strengthened local suspicions that members of the RUC or UDR were involved.

Almost exactly a decade later, on Wednesday 29 December 1982, history nearly repeated itself when Kieran Leonard, a 25-year-old brother of Louis, was shot and wounded by British troops close to his home. The fact that he survived this attempt on his life was due less to the merciful nature of his assailants than to the close proximity of a neighbour.

The Leonard family home is close to the village of Donagh, in a staunchly republican area of the county. Like many other families in the locality, the Leonards have suffered regular searches, arrests, interrogation and imprisonment by the British. It came as no great surprise, therefore, that the shoot-to-kill policy employed in other areas should be introduced to Donagh.

Initial reports by the media about the incident were, as ever in such instances, inaccurate and misleading. These claimed that a man had been shot and three others arrested in Roslea, seven miles away. Soldiers had, we were told, been examining wires running along a ditch, had seen a man acting suspiciously, and shouted a warning, and then shot the man as he ran away.

An Phoblacht 6 January 1983

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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