Brother of murdered police officer vows his memory will not be forgotten
The brother of a police officer murdered by the IRA 50 years ago in Derry has said he will not allow his memory to be forgotten.
Two RUC officers were killed in the 1972 gun attack on their vehicle and were remembered at a wreath-laying ceremony at the war memorial in the city on the anniversary of their deaths today.
Sergeant Peter Gilgunn (26) and constable David Montgomery (20) were the first of 20 RUC casualties that year.
Their deaths occurred just three days before Bloody Sunday, in which 13 civil rights marchers were shot dead by soldiers.
Colin Montgomery, from Belfast, was 11 years old when his older brother was killed.
He said: “David was a very smart, bubbly fellow. He loved cars. He was in his prime and enjoying life.
“He was training for his sergeant exam when he was murdered.”
Mr Montgomery recalled the day his brother was killed.
He said: “I went to a school in east Belfast. Every lunchtime I used to leave school and walk along the Beersbridge Road. We didn’t live too far from it, it was just a five-minute walk.
“I used to go to the bakery to get a sausage roll and then go home to eat it with a glass of milk before going back to school for starting back.
“That day I saw a bit of a crowd outside the house, there were a lot of cars.
“I was met by two police officers, one was a lady, one was a man. They took me in and set me down.
“I remember my father coming down the stairs. He was still covered with coal dust from work that morning.
“He had a tear in his eye and he said these people want to talk to you.
“That was it, David was dead.
“It had a great impact, we were a very close family.”
Mr Montgomery said that despite his brother’s death occurring so close to Bloody Sunday, his memory is kept alive by events such as the memorial service.
He said: “He is not forgotten by friends, family and neighbours. We won’t allow him to be forgotten.
“I met a fellow on the bus the other day, he used to be a neighbour, and he said it was David’s 50th anniversary on Thursday. He said he hadn’t forgotten.
“If my brother had have been living today he would have been 70.
“Fifty years on, there is still no justice done. Nobody was ever convicted.
“I can’t see justice happening now. I think it is gone now.”
The ceremony was attended by political and church representatives and the RUC George Cross Association.
DUP MP Gregory Campbell said: “Countless words have been written and broadcast as well as hundreds of millions of pounds spent on events in Londonderry on January 30 1972 yet there is scarcely a reference to the murder of these police officers three days prior to those events.
“It is important that the memory of all those who stood against violence and terrorism is kept alive.”
Kenny Donaldson, from the victims’ group South East Fermanagh Foundation, said: “It is important that lives stolen away through terrorism and other Troubles-related criminal violence are not forgotten.”