I have been asked by Daniel Lundy to publicise how his meeting with NGA (Belfast) on Tuesday went, by posting the letter he sent them today dealing with issues arising. Please pass on.
To the Committee NGA (Belfast)
At our recent meeting, regarding the omission of my father, Alan Lundy, from the County Antrim Memorial at Milltown Cemetery an explanation that I believe was disingenuous was given for the failure of the NGA (Belfast) to have my father’s name inscribed along with those of his friends and comrades. At the meeting, attended by my sister Clare and I representing our family, and Joe Austin, Liam Shannon and Anne Murray representing NGA (Belfast), we were informed that my father was left off the memorial because “the Lundy family have never approached” NGA (Belfast) and that this was official policy.
Following the meeting I approached a number of friends who until recently were prominent members of the NGA (Belfast), including Pádraic Mac Coitir, Rab Jackson and a former member from Ardoyne. They told me that at no time has this been official policy of the NGA (Belfast), and that in effect our family had been lied to in this regard. This was also confirmed as nonsense by the family of Maire Drumm, who was a Sinn Fein member, assassinated by Loyalists and buried in a family grave exactly like my father. They have confirmed that at no point, either for the old or new memorial, did they have to approach NGA (Belfast) for their mother’s inclusion on the County Antrim Memorial. When asked why you had not seeked permission for putting my father’s name on your website, nor needed to be approached by the family for this to be done you said “those names were taken from Tirghra”. This proves our family’s point. My father was a Sinn Féin activist at the time of his murder, as well as an IRA Volunteer, as acknowledged by the Republican Movement at the time of Tirghra. As such he should have been acknowledged on the Antrim Memorial.
At the meeting we were also informed that the only reason that anyone would be omitted from the County Antrim Memorial was if the Provisional IRA said so, or if the family objected. Given that the PIRA never objected and I can state categorically that the Lundy family also never objected, why was my father left off the memorial? And given recent public assertions by both Martin McGuinness and Declan Kearney that the Provisional IRA no longer exists, who are the NGA (Belfast) going to ask permission from now if my father’s name is to belatedly be included on the Memorial?
My father’s omission is especially baffling, given that his name was inscribed immediately after his assassination on the Ardoyne/Bone/Ligoniel Memorial at the Sinn Fein Centre in Ardoyne. He is acknowledged as an IRA Volunteer in Tirghra and is included on the Republican Roll of Honour published in An Phoblacht every year, not the Roll of Remembrance. The Provisional IRA also paid for my father’s funeral.
Effectively, NGA (Belfast) are saying that it is not their fault that Alan Lundy is not on the County Antrim Memorial, but the fault of our family. The facts do not bear this out, and we refuse to accept this explanation. The meeting with NGA (Belfast) has actually increased the hurt and distress that our family is feeling, and the cruel and callous manner in which my sister and I were addressed was an absolute disgrace, adding insult to injury. When we asked for an apology, we were told by Liam Shannon “I don’t think so somehow” and that our family was to blame and NGA (Belfast) had nothing to apologise for. I think that your committee, if it has any morals left, should seriously discuss this man’s ability to deal with the families of our Patriot Dead, given his approach towards my sister and I. Given this attitude, we would find it hard now to accept any apology, as it would be quite clearly an insincere attempt at damage limitation.
To conclude, the Lundy Family are looking forward to the day that my father is rightfully acknowledged for the sacrifice he made for all of the people of the Irish nation by having his name inscribed on the County Antrim Memorial along with his friends and comrades. We look forward to hearing from you as to the date and time that this will be carried out.
(Son of Alan Lundy)