21 January 1999 Edition
South Galway Republicans were saddened at the loss of a friend and comrade of many years standing recently when John Cahill passed away. The large attendance at the funeral showed the high esteem he was held in, as his tricolour draped coffin was laid to rest.
John Cahill had a long and honourable association with the Republican movement in Galway, as a Volunteer in the IRA and as a loyal supporter in the four decades since the Fifties campaign. Like so many others, John's door was always open to Republicans and many benefitted from his kindness.
For many years John was associated with the Gort and South Galway Easter Commemorations, and was a member of the Shanaglish Commemoration Committee which organises the annual wreath laying at the Loughnane Brothers grave, and keeps the memory of their sacrifice alive in the locality.
In his funeral oration in both Irish and English John Landers, a friend and comrade of John Cahill, said that the whole Republican family in South Galway expressed their sincere condolences to John's greiving widow, Margaret, on her bereavement and assured her of their continuing support and friendship.
``The success of our struggle has alway been guaranteed by the John Cahills of this world, comrades who never lost sight of our goals and who remained loyal in good times and bad''.
Peter McCallion was born to Maureen and Mickey and shared his childhood with two brothers and six sisters, all of whom will dearly miss him. Closest to Peter's heart is his wife Annmarie and their four children.
Peter's life was no different from any number of us. As a nationalist and a Republican he witnessed all the oppression of the early seventies; the daily raids and arrests; the armoured cars and foot patrols; and especially the harassment of continually being stopped and abused by the British crown forces.
It is little wonder that Peter, at the age of 15, joined na Fianna Eireann and quickly moved through the ranks to become a senior figure.
Peter was a happy-go-lucky and popular figure in the area who enjoyed the craic, the Shantallow hop and, particularly, Status Quo. Amongst his friends in those days were Volunteers Michael Meenan and Eamon `Bronco' Bradley who both lost their lives on active service.
When he was 17 Peter joined the ranks of Oglaigh na hEireann and took charge of his unit as they participated in numerous operations whilst he immersed himself in all aspects of our struggle. In August 1976 Peter was arrested and charged with a sniper attack on a British army patrol.
While on remand Peter took part in all the protests for segregation and political status. After a lengthy period on remand he was sentenced in the Diplock courts to 18 years imprisonment. Like his comrades before him Peter went directly on to the blanket protest where he endured the hardships which confronted the blanketmen.
Upon his release Peter found himself a job as a painter but still continued in his own discreet way to help and support the Republican struggle.
Through time he met Annmarie, a friend from his younger days. When they married everyone expressed their delight for the couple commenting that they were made for each other. Peter's proudest moment was the birth of their son Connor just over a year ago. Peter also became a father to Annmarie's three other children whom he loved very much.
To Annmarie and the children and to Mr. and Mrs. McCallion and family, the republican movement extends heartfelt sympathy.
When Terence McGonigle died on 7 November 1998, South Derry and the Magherafelt area in particular, lost one of the fiercest opponents of British and unionist rule that the area had ever known.
A hard working man, they came no straighter than Terence, and if something was to be said, Terence said it.
An avid reader who could converse on any subject, Terence enjoyed debate. He was often the man who started a debate and was always there at the finish.
An ever present member of the County Derry PDF Terence was a regular collector at Magherafelt and Milltown chapels, untill ill health took its toll a number of years ago.
The esteem in which he was held was evident by the numbers who called to the wake in his sister Susan's house. Republicans who spanned his lifetime mingled with his neighbours from Magherafelt and Newbridge, where he spent his last years. Ex-prisoners' and prisoners' families from all of County Derry, South West Antrim and East Tyrone were present at his funeral.
To his sister Susan, brother Tommy and family circle, the Republican Movement extends its sincere sympathy.