Northern Ireland

Hundreds attend Dominic McGlinchey 30th anniversary in Co Derry

Former INLA chief shot dead in 1994

Dominic McGlinchey
Dominic McGlinchey Dominic McGlinchey

Republicans gathered in Co Derry on Sunday to mark the 30th anniversary of the murder of former INLA chief Dominic McGlinchey.

Originally from Bellaghy, Mr McGlinchey was shot dead in Drogheda, Co Louth, on February 10 1994.

His wife Mary was gunned down while bathing her young children at their home in Dundalk, Co Louth, on January 31 1987.

The couple are buried together along with their baby daughter Máire, who died in 1985, at St Mary’s graveyard, on the outskirts of Bellaghy.

Their son Declan, a prominent republican, who died in 2015 aged 39, is buried nearby as are 1981 hunger strikers Francis Hughes and Thomas McElwee.

The couple’s surviving son, also called Dominic, witnessed the murders of both his parents as a child.

A cross-section of republican opinion was represented at Sunday’s commemoration, which was attended by several hundred people, including former Mid Ulster MP Bernadette McAliskey,

The veteran republican, who delivered the graveside oration at Mr McGlinchey’s funeral almost 30 years ago to the day, also spoke at Sunday’s event.

Bernadette McAliskey. Picture Niall Carson/PA
Bernadette McAliskey

Wreaths were laid and a decade of the Rosary recited in Irish before Ms McAliskey told those in attendance that both Dominic and Mary McGlinchey knew “what they believed in”.

“They maybe didn’t always make the wisest of choices in their own best interests but neither of them, neither of them, took a single action in their life to better themselves, to take advantage of another human being, to make money out of somebody else’s sorrow,” she said.

“Neither of them ever broke the principles that they believed in.”

She added that both “wanted an Ireland that people went before greed, that justice went before money, where there was fairness and no poverty”.

“And I might see it in my lifetime, and I might not, but we will see it if we keep on believing it and we’ll get a lot further if we stop sweating and fighting over the small stuff,” she said.

“Remember what we lost and try to make losing it worth the effort.”

Mary McGlinchey with her children
Mary McGlinchey with her children

Mr McGlinchey’s brother Sean, who is a Sinn Fein councillor at Causeway Coast and Glens, also addressed those in attendance.

He recounted how earlier in the day he had attended another commemoration, in neighbouring Lavey, to mark the 35th anniversary of the loyalist murder of Sinn Féin councillor John Davey (58) on St Valentine’s Day 1989.

He recounted how when his brother’s remains were returned to his native village three decades ago, his mother “walked forward, she put her hand on the coffin and said ‘you are home now son, you are safe’.”

He added that we “have to ensure that there are no more Dominic, Mary McGlincheys, Francises, Toms, Declans”.