Hundreds at IRSP commemoration

A section of the crowd at the Neil McMonagle commemoration in Leafair on Saturday. (2901MM10)
A section of the crowd at the Neil McMonagle commemoration in Leafair on Saturday. (2901MM10)

More than 400 people attended a commemoration march in Shantallow on Saturday to mark the 30th anniversary of the death of Derry INLA man Neil McMonagle.

The crowd marched from Carnhill Resource Centre to the republican socialist monument at Leafair at the sport where the 23 year-old was shot dead by an undercover British soldier in 1983.

The march was led by a colour party and the marchers were accompanied by a flute band.

Speaking at the monument, Eoghan Rodgers from the IRSP said the large crowd was a tribute to the memory of the INLA man.

“The very fact that we gather here every year, even after thirty years, shows us clearly that Neil McMonagle was held in the highest regard by his family and his community and the organisation to which he belonged.

“I would like to pay tribute to Neil’s family for their commitment to his memory and his ideals and I’m sure Neil’s family would like to pay tribute to the people of Leafair and Greater Shantallow who have never forgotten Neil and what he stood for,” he said. The IRSP spokesperson also encouraged those in attendance to take inspiration from the 23 year-old. “For us there’s no point just turning up here and just remembering Neil if you do nothing to further his political ideals.

“Neil was a champion of the poor and the oppressed but he also fought for the Republic free from British interference. He followed James Connolly’s political outlook which seen no difference between the struggle for a unified Ireland and the struggle for socialism.

“These two struggles are one and the same. It was Neil’s view, and the view of the republican socialist movement, that in Ireland if you can’t have one without the other,” he said.