Attack on Mellon memorial branded ‘hateful’
The defacement of a memorial to two former IRA Volunteers in Derry has been branded ‘hateful’ by the Saoradh organisation.
A mural to the late republicans Tommy Roberts and Stevie Mellon, who passed away in June 2017 and August 2018 respectively, was damaged by arsonists in the early hours of last Friday. A section dedicated to the memory of Mr. Mellon appeared to be specifically targeted.
A Saoradh spokesman said: “For reasons known only to themselves, the perpetrators solely attacked the image of Stevie Mellon. Stevie’s family are still mourning the passing of their father, grandfather, brother and uncle after his passing away.
“In fact, Stevie’s children were still coming to terms with the loss of their loving mother a few months previous to their fathers death. When Stevie was added to the memorial on Westland Street, his family fought back the tears of grief to attend the rededication.
“Understandably, the entire Mellon family circle are devastated by this targeted, mindless and hateful attack, not just in Stevie’s memory but an attack on the Mellon family, carried out in the dead of night by cowards. What these cowards don’t realise is that nothing they do will tarnish Stevie Mellon’s memory nor will it tarnish the Mellon name amongst republicans.”
Mr. Mellon, who died aged 65 last year, was attached to A Company of the IRA in Creggan in the early 1970s. He was injured on active service in 1971 and later interned. He was a well-known and respected republican in the city.
Mr. Roberts is believed to have been on active service with the late James ‘Junior’ McDaid shortly before he was shot dead in Ballyarnett on December 29, 1972. He served as IRA Commander in Crumlin Road Gaol in the 1970s.