Hundreds attend 25th anniversary commemoration

Liam Friel chairing Sunday's commemoration event in the City Cemetery. (3010MM01)
Liam Friel chairing Sunday's commemoration event in the City Cemetery. (3010MM01)

Hundreds of people attended commemoration events on Sunday to mark the 25th anniversary of the deaths of Derry IRA men Eddie McSheffrey and Paddy Deery.

The two men died in October 1987 when a bomb prematurely exploded in a car they were driving in Creggan.

Despite heavy rain, several hundred people attended a commemoration in the City Cemetery where wreaths were laid at the republican monument in memory of both men.

The cemetery commemoration was chaired by Creggan republican Liam Friel who said; “We are here today to remember with dignity and pride the memory of our comrades and stand in solidarity with their family and friends. We see these commemorations as very important to ensure that the memory of our Volunteers is remembered with dignity and pride. This month also marks the Anniversaries of Óglach Pat Harkin and Óglach Michael Meenan.”

Councillor Kevin Campbell and Martin Connolly read biographies of the two men. Willie Healy laid flowers on behalf of the Bogside and Brandywell Monument Committee and Stella Murray laid a tribute on behalf of the Creggan Monument Committee. William McGuinness laid a wreath at the monument on behalf of the republican monument.

Following the commemoration in the City Cemetery, an event was held in the Gasyard Centre to remember the lives of both republicans, both of whom were married with young children.

Relatives of both men were at the event and received presentations from the organisers.

A photographic exhibition of the lives of both men, as well as the events surrounding their deaths and funerals, was on display in the Gasyard during the event.

Brian McCool, who chaired the event in the Gasyard, said; “I am sure seeing the photos and artefacts from 1987 have brought back many memories. It’s hard to believe it was 25 years ago. Whilst the years have passed one thing is for sure we haven’t or never will forget the ultimate sacrifice of our friends and comrades Edward and Paddy.”

Nine year-old Declan Dunne recited the  Bobby Sands poem, ‘The Rhythm of Time.’

Martina Anderson and Martin McGuinness reflected on the lives of both men and a number of presentations were made to the McSheffrey and Deery families.  

The event ended with  Keenan Barrett singing the ballad, ‘Four Green Fields.’