IRSP: Memorial to INLA Volunteer Unveiled in North Belfast
Danielle Ni Dhighe
danielle at irsm.org
Wed Dec 11 10:09:34 MST 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10 December 2002
Irish Republican Socialist Party
Memorial to INLA Volunteer Unveiled in North Belfast
Teach na Failte, the organisation which provides support, training,
and other assistance to ex-prisoners of the Irish National Liberation
Army and others, continued this past Sunday with its campaign to
provide a visible public memorial for all of those within the Irish
Republican Socialist Movement who have fallen during the course of
the struggle for Irish national liberation and socialism.
The ex-prisoner developed and implemented project to commemorate the
IRSM's martyrs conducted an unveiling ceremony in North Belfast on
Sunday, December 9th for a memorial commemorating fallen INLA
Volunteer Joe Craven. The event, which drew between 150 and 200
participants, took place on the eve of the 28th anniversary of the
founding of the Irish Republican Socialist Party and Irish National
Liberation Army, on the 10th of December 1974.
Joe Craven was assassinated by a UVF gunman (though claimed using the
name 'Protestant Action Force') who opened fire from a motorcycle,
killing Craven and wounding his two brothers as they walked to a
labour exchange on 5 December 1983.
The priest at the funeral refused to accompany the coffin to Milltown
Cemetery to the Republican Socialist plot because of the INLA honour
guard accompanying it. The RUC then moved in, which was the first
time the RUC attacked a republican funeral in an attempt to prevent
the paramilitary display. When the coffin bearing Joe Craven's black
beret and gloves atop it stepped outside the Craven home, clashes
occurred between the mourners and the RUC. The family then retreated
into their home and refused to bring the coffin out until the
security forces moved back.
When the RUC finally agreed to move back and the coffin was brought
out again, the RUC surged forward again and two men were arrested in
the subsequent conflict. Eventually the mourners forced the RUC to
retreat and the coffin was borne to the grave bearing the beret,
gloves and Starry Plough flag of republican socialism atop it.
The family of the murdered INLA Volunteer expressed their happiness
and satisfaction with the unveiling of the memorial to their fallen
loved one. In addition the historic beginning of the RUC's practice
of attacking Irish republican funerals has been identified and will
not be forgotten either.
A Teach na Failte spokesperson in Belfast reported that the
organisation would next be unveiling memorials to INLA Volunteers
Mickey Kearney and Patrick Campbell in New Barnsley. That
commemoration will take place next month on the 19th of January.
Financial donations to this ongoing effort to erect memorials to all
of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement's martyred dead can send
Teach na Failte
392A Falls Road
Belfast BT12 6DH
Cheques should be made payable to:
1 Antrim Road,
Belfast BT15 2BE
Teach na Failte No. 2 Account
Account No: 73030255, Branch Code 98-00-20
Republican Socialist Publicity Bureau
392 Falls Road, Belfast, BT48 6DH, Ireland
Tel: 028 90 321024 Fax: 028 90 330786
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