IRA Volunteer ‘Junior’ McDaid’s wife hurt by Saoradh snub

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The wife of an IRA volunteer shot dead by the British Army in Ballyarnett in 1972 has spoken of her hurt at finding out a hub for the local branch of a new republican political party was being named after her late husband without her permission.

Patsy Brennan, whose husband James ‘Junior’ McDaid, was unarmed when he was shot dead by the British Army on December 29, 1972, said the first she heard of the new Derry Irish Republican Prisoners’ Welfare Association (IRPWA) and Saoradh office at Chamberlain Street was when she picked up the Journal on Friday morning.

She said she should have been invited or at least told that the event was taking place.

“Nobody came near me to tell me anything about it,” she said. “I was up in a wee café yesterday [Saturday], and people were saying about it, about ‘Junior’ McDaid. I nearly died.”

She said she couldn’t vouch for what ‘Junior,’ who was aged 32 and was Officer Commanding (O/C) the 3rd Battalion of the IRA in Derry when he was killed, would have made of the new office.

“I don’t want them to have to close the place down or anything like that. If they want to go political, I’ve nothing against that,” she said.

But Mrs Brennan said you can’t put words in the mouths of the dead.

“I couldn’t allow them use ‘Junior’s’ name. How do I know whether he would want his name used for that or not? I can’t speak for ‘Junior’ now.”