November 24th will mark the 20th anniversary of the murder of Phelim McNally who was shot dead by a loyalist death squad at his County Tyrone home on the Derrychrin Road just outside Ballinderry/Ardboe.
This Sunday, 23rd November, the McNally family will hold a special open air Mass to remember and celebrate Phelim’s life, including the unveiling of a commemorative plaque dedicated in memory of Phelim at the home of his brother, Francie McNally, where the murder took place. A marquee will be erected for the Mass and afterwards the Sinn Fein Mid-Ulster MP Martin McGuinness, and Mark Thompson Director of Relatives for Justice, will address the event.
Speaking in advance of Sunday the McNally family released the following statement through Relatives for Justice;
‘Phelim’s murder marked the beginning of a dark chapter throughout Mid-Ulster, and in particular the East Tyrone and South Derry areas, that spanned two decades and witnessed a catalogue of murders carried out by loyalists in which the hand of RUC Special Branch and British Military Intelligence was clearly evident. Loyalists were provided with information, arms, and safe passage to kill nationalists and republicans as part of Britain’s dirty war across this small geographical area as part of the wider policy of collusion in Ireland. Indeed some of those carrying out the killings were serving members of Britain’s forces as well as loyalist death squads.
‘As a family we are acutely conscious of the hurt and suffering of other families also affected by collusion and State violence and are keen to reach out to other families who also experienced a similar loss in collective support, solidarity and memory. We wish to acknowledge other families as part of the event as our family remembers Phelim.
‘We have therefore asked Relatives for Justice to invite the families of all those murdered through collusion and State violence across the immediate areas of Tyrone, Derry and North Antrim to join with us in celebrating Phelim’s life and in remembering all those murdered through collusion.’
‘Phelim’s son, Christopher who was born the night his father was murdered, along with Martin McGuinness will unveil the commemorative plaque in memory of his father.
Sunday 23rd November 2008 @ 3pm
At the McNally Family home;
62 Derrychrin Road, County Tyrone.
Anyone seeking further details can contact Relatives for Justice on 02890 220100.
Please accredit Relatives for Justice in releasing the statement on behalf of the McNally family.