Brother of George McBrearty encourages all republicans to attend 43rd anniversary commemoration

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The brother of the late George McBrearty has encouraged republicans to attend a commemoration to mark the 43rd anniversary of his death this Sunday.

Mr. McBrearty (23) was shot dead alongside Charles ‘Pop’ Maguire (21) by undercover members of the British Army at the bottom of Southway on May 28, 1981, at the height of the IRA/INLA hunger strike.

On Sunday at 2pm Tyrone-republican Frankie Quinn will be the main speaker at a special commemoration at the George McBrearty mural and Crann na Poblachta (Tree of the Republic) monument at Rinmore Drive.

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George’s brother Danny said he hoped all republicans would attend.

Danny McBrearty, brother of George McBrearty, speaking at a previous anniversary commemoration of his brother and Charles ‘Pop’ Maguire’s deaths. DER2122GS - 006Danny McBrearty, brother of George McBrearty, speaking at a previous anniversary commemoration of his brother and Charles ‘Pop’ Maguire’s deaths. DER2122GS - 006
Danny McBrearty, brother of George McBrearty, speaking at a previous anniversary commemoration of his brother and Charles ‘Pop’ Maguire’s deaths. DER2122GS - 006

“I believe in the future the way constitutional politicians are heading they don't want to remember our fallen volunteers.

“However, everyone is welcome to come and pay tribute to those on the montage on the wall. There is no hierarchy on that wall as there are men on it who have never been recognised by any organisation.

"Those comrades on the wall died for the same tradition of an Irish republic, nothing more and nothing less,” he said.

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Mr. McBrearty expressed scepticism about the direction republican politics has taken over recent decades.

Mrs. Bridie McBrearty pictured in 2015 with images of her late sons George McBrearty, who was killed by undercover British soldiers on May 28, 1981 and Pat McBrearty, who took his own life on May 28, 1991.Mrs. Bridie McBrearty pictured in 2015 with images of her late sons George McBrearty, who was killed by undercover British soldiers on May 28, 1981 and Pat McBrearty, who took his own life on May 28, 1991.
Mrs. Bridie McBrearty pictured in 2015 with images of her late sons George McBrearty, who was killed by undercover British soldiers on May 28, 1981 and Pat McBrearty, who took his own life on May 28, 1991.

"We do not know what this 'New Ireland' which is being bandied about will be. Throughout all my years in the republican movement the words 'New Ireland' were never used. What was actually used was that the fight was for a 32 county sovereign republic.

“I know I wouldn't have thrown a stone for where we are today politically as a person and I don't know that any of the fallen volunteers would have,” he declared.

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He argued that Stormont has failed to deliver for Derry over the years.

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Danny McBreary, at his brother George's graveside in 2007.Danny McBreary, at his brother George's graveside in 2007.
Danny McBreary, at his brother George's graveside in 2007.

"At 71 years of age I haven't seen this town as low as what it is at the minute,” Mr. McBrearty said.

He claimed that under devolution 90 per cent of investment has gone to Belfast and other areas.

"Not a penny came here. We were promised during the City of Culture it would flourish afterwards.

"I walked up Carlisle Road the other day and I've never seen this place as dilapidated,” he remarked.

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The annual commemoration will take place in Creggan on Sunday.The annual commemoration will take place in Creggan on Sunday.
The annual commemoration will take place in Creggan on Sunday.

Mr. McBrearty encouraged anyone who wishes to place a floral tribute at the George McBrearty tribute garden at the weekend to contact the chair of the event Gary McCool.

George McBrearty and Charles ‘Pop’ Maguire were shot dead at the junction of Southway and the Lone Moor Road in Derry on May 28, 1981. The annual commemoration in their memory had been due to take place on Sunday, May 26, but had to be postponed due to unforeseen circumstances.

In inviting people to attend this weekend Mr. McBrearty said he wished to quote the words an ex-US marine shared with John Crawley, the ex-IRA gun-runner and author of ‘The Yank’: “We wont let our comrades and volunteers die twice. We shall always remember them regardless of the political situation.”

The commemoration is due to take place at Rinmore Drive at 2pm on Sunday.

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