23 May 2002 Edition

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Hugh McKeown

Most people in Newry were stunned when they heard that Hugh McKeown had died on Friday 10 May - just several weeks after celebrating his 40th birthday. Scalldy, as he was known to all his friends, was always the joker and life and soul of every party. On Monday 13 May, his funeral, accompanied by a seven-member republican Guard of Honour, made its way to St. Mary's Cemetery, Newry.

At the graveside, Sinn Féin Councillor Brendan Curran paid tribute to the help and assistance Scalldy had given to the republican struggle in Newry.

Councillor Curran said:

"It is an honour to have been invited to speak at the graveside of our friend and comrade Scalldy McKeown. Scalldy grew up in Derrybeg Park, which has always been to the fore in the last 30 years of struggle in this country. Like many other young men of that time, Scalldy found himself in direct conflict with the British Army on our streets. Having been arrested in the early 1980s, he served a number of years in the H Blocks in Long Kesh. After his release, Scalldy was of great help in building support for Sinn Féin and the republican movement in this area. Along with his brother Barry he led the campaign to erect the monument in Derrybeg Park. During election time, Scalldy was always available to carry out whatever task was asked of him. The strength of the republican family throughout this area is due to the everyday work of people like Scalldy.

"I offer our sincere condolences to the McKeown family and his life-long friend, Jacinta. Go ndéana Dia trocaire ar a anam."

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