éirígí in Newry held a wreath-laying event in the Derrybeg estate yesterday [October 18] in memory of IRA volunteer Michael Hughes, who was killed by the British army’s Royal Marine Commandos thirty-seven years ago in October 1974.
The ceremony was attended by local éirígí members, supporters and community leaders from the area, including independent republican councillor Davy Hyland, and a wreath was laid by Derrybeg community activist Anthony Coyle.
Speaking after the event, éirígí’s Stephen Murney said, “Michael was just 16 years old when he was killed by the British army. Despite his young age he stepped up to the mark and joined Óglaigh na hÉireann. The people of Derrybeg have suffered gravely due to the British occupation with five IRA volunteers from this estate giving their lives over the years.
“While we remember Michael, we must not forget that the British forces who killed him are still occupying Ireland, with thousands of British combat troops garrisoned here today including sinister covert forces like the SRR who are well skilled in the practices of murder and collusion. In 2005, an SRR gang was caught red-handed by Iraqi police in Basra carrying a bomb in what appeared to be a classic covert British dirty tricks operation.
“The fact that the SRR is a companion regiment to the notorious SAS will not be lost upon the Irish people. Nor will the fact that the SRR was at least partially-formed from the discredited 14th Intelligence Company which was itself one of the lead British Army units responsible for controlling the unionist death squads.”
Stephen continued, “We constantly see attempts to normalise the occupying British forces with regular ‘homecoming’ events and recruitment stalls taking place. éirígí have continually resisted these and during one event éirígí members boarded a Royal Marine warship, the same regiment that murdered Michael Hughes, and protested against the event.
“éirígí has consistently opposed the British occupation from the party’s formation and we will continue to do so while at the same time remembering the sacrifice made by republicans like Michael Hughes.”