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Hundreds at Creggan commemoration

Gerry McCartney and Bridgeen Coyle speak at the 40th anniversary commemoration for Joe Walker at Cromore Gardens, Creggan. (DER4913PG005)

Gerry McCartney and Bridgeen Coyle speak at the 40th anniversary commemoration for Joe Walker at Cromore Gardens, Creggan. (DER4913PG005)

Several hundred people attended a commemoration in Derry on Tuesday evening to mark the 40th anniversary of the death of IRA man, Joe Walker.

18 year-old Joe Walker was shot dead in a gun battle with British soldiers in Creggan on December 3, 1973.

The commemoration event was held at the Creggan republican monument at Cromore Gardens and was chaired by Bridgeen Coyle.

Addressing the crowd, Ms Coyle said: “ We see these commemorations as very important to ensure the memory of the volunteers are held in great honour and to show the high esteem in which their families are held.”

Veteran Derry republican Gerry McCartney was the main speaker at the event and said Joe Walker was part of a long tradition of young Irish men and woman who fought for freedom.

Mr McCartney referred to the recent ceremony in Dublin, attended by President Michael D. Higgins, to mark the centenary of the formation of the Irish volunteers.

“He said Óglaigh na hÉireann was an army drawn from the people. The volunteers in 1973, like Joe Walker, had the same aspirations for freedom as those in 1913.

“If Joe’s life was not to be in vain it’s up to the present generation of Irish republican to bring freedom to this country,” he said.

John Harkin laid a wreath at the republican monument on behalf of the Harkin family and Martin McGilloway laid one on behalf of the republican movement.

Local republicans Isobel Kelly and Margaret Doherty also made a presentation to Sheena Walker, sister of Joe Walker.

 

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