Veteran republicans Stan Corrigan and Seán McVeigh buried a day apart

Stan Corrigan served six years - from 1975 to 1981 - in the Maze's notorious cages 23 and nine. Picture/Still from YouTube

TWO veteran republicans, who spent time in the Maze Prison, are being buried a day apart after dying on the same day.

Mourners gathered on Monday for the funeral of Kieran 'Stan' Corrigan, who was originally from Co Tyrone, but had also lived in Tullysaran, Co Armagh and latterly in Dundalk, Co Louth.

According to relatives he died "peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family" on Friday.

His wife Kate and daughters Edel, a Sinn Féin Louth county councillor, and Saoirse were joined by friends and family at The Church of the Holy Redeemer in Dundalk. He was buried afterwards at St Patrick's Cemetery in the town.

He was arrested along with six others in a British army raid of a farmhouse in Tyrone and served six years - from 1975 to 1981 - in the Maze's notorious cages 23 and nine, released the day after Bobby Sands was returned to parliament.

Mr Corrigan had been working to identify the graves of deceased republicans to produce a map around Dundalk.

Tyrone Sinn Féin Commemoration Committee noted his passing on its Facebook page, saying he was a "founding member" and was "immensely proud" of the group.

"He was a tireless agent for change and a leader, who was always there to provide advice and guidance to our youth," it said.

"Throughout his life, Stan touched the hearts and minds of many of his comrades."

He passed away the same day as Seán McVeigh, from the Short Strand area of east Belfast.

Mr McVeigh, who lived at Clandeboye Gardens, close to a notorious interface, is an uncle of former Sinn Féin lord mayor Niall O Donnaghaile.

He was the eleventh republican prisoner to go on the `blanket' protest and the first from the Short Strand, following his imprisonment in the Maze in 1976 at the age of 18.

McVeigh spent almost five of his 10-year imprisonment as part of the protest over political status.

Mr O Donnaghaile said his uncle was "very close to a number of the hunger strikers, and would talk about Raymond McCreesh helping him with Irish while in prison and Francis Hughes being taken past in a wheelchair".

He was back in the headlines in 2002 during serious sectarian violence when he challenging the press to ask the Secretary of State John Reid to justify "the Seige of the Short Strand."

After his time in prison, he developed his artistic talent, working with muralist Danny Devenney on a number of high-profile pieces of public art.

He died in hospital, also surrounded by family, around six months after being diagnosed with cancer.

Requiem Mass will take place at 10am on Tuesday at St Matthew's Church, with burial afterwards at Milltown cemetery in west Belfast.

He is survived by his wife Paula and children Kevin, Eithne, Seán and Caitriona.

The Irish Republican Felon's Association paid tribute to both men.

"We're deeply saddened to hear of the deaths today of Seán McVeigh from Belfast and Stan Corrigan from Tyrone," it said in a statement on Facebook.

"Two giants of the republican struggle who spent their lives in the movement and time in jail as POWs.

"The Irish Republican Felon’s Association sends our deepest sympathies and condolences to the family, friends and comrades of both Seán and Stan. The Republican movement has lost 2 of our finest."

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