Northern Ireland news

Funeral of community activist Margaret Power whose life 'revolved' around her family

The funeral of Margaret Power leaves her home in the Markets area of south Belfast. Picture by Mal McCann
Marie Louise McConville

MOURNERS gathered in Belfast yesterday for the funeral of a well-known community activist.

Margaret Power, a mother-of-seven and great-grandmother from Friendly Street in the Markets area, died on Tuesday.

The 87-year-old, who wrote songs including The Battle of Inglis's Bakery and Lament for Big Joe McCann, lost her only two sons during the Troubles.

James Power (21), who was a member of the INLA, was killed in May 1981 when a bomb exploded as he attempted to disarm it.

Six years later, his 33-year-old brother Thomas `Ta' Power, also an INLA member, was shot by the IPLO along with another man, John O'Reilly, in a hotel outside Drogheda.

Thomas had previously spent time in prison on remand and Mrs Power had campaigned tirelessly for him, even writing to BBC programme That's Life to protest at his imprisonment.

Fr Michael McGinnity told those gathered for Requiem Mass at St Malachy's Church in Alfred Street yesterday that Mrs Power had a "gentle spirit" and her life revolved around her family.

"She was a caring parent. She put her family first," he said.

"The untimely death of her husband and two sons came as very severe blows to Margaret. In the years of internment she showed her inner resilience, working on behalf of her son... searching for justice for him."

Mrs Power was laid to rest in the City Cemetery.

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