Yesterday thousands of Irish Republicans marched in Lurgan to remember Sam Marshall and to demand justice for all the victims of collusion.
The march was led by the families of the victims and were accompanied by the Naomh Phadraig Flute band from Kilkeel and the Carrick Hill Independent RFB from Belfast, they followed the exact same route that Sam Marshall, Colin Duffy and Tony McCaughey took on that fateful night 20 years ago.
Despite the large presence of heavily armed members of the political police the marchers and bands remained dignified and paid their respects to Sam.
The marched reached the spot were Sam was murdered and the proceedings then went underway. Ex-POW Paul Duffy (brother of Colin) chaired the proceedings and he spoke about how he had noticed the large number of former Prisoners, blanketmen and hungerstrikers in the vast crowd, this was very fitting as Sam himself had been a POW and had also served on the blanket. He then introduced us to the main speaker, South Armagh Republican, Pat McNamee. Pat gave a stirring speech and spoke about the families long quest for truth and justice, he also highlighted the unchanged nature of enemy forces in Ireland and pointed out that many of those who were involved in collusion are still serving members of the British forces. Caitriona Duffy then read a statement on behalf of her father Colin Duffy and former blanketman Alex McCrory presented Sam's sister with a magnificent portrait of Sam which was made by Republican POW's.
A minutes silence was also observed and the proceedings ended with Amhrán na bhFiann.
It was uplifting to see thousands of Republicans coming together to demand truth and justice. It wasn't too long ago Republicanism seemed to be in tatters, it seems now the tide is turning and republicans are once again united and taking to the streets to make their voices heard loud and clear.
COLLUSION IS NOT AN ILLUSION