Victim’s cousin: I hope IRA women are haunted

Remembrance service for three Scottish soldiers killed on the outskirts of north Belfast in 1972.
Remembrance service for three Scottish soldiers killed on the outskirts of north Belfast in 1972.

THE cousin of a Scottish soldier lured to his death by republican females said he hopes they are haunted for the rest of their lives for what they did.

Brothers John McCaig, 17, and Joseph McCaig, 18, along with Dougald McCaughey, 23, of the Royal Highland Fusiliers were killed by the IRA at Whitebrae on March 10, 1971, after being lured there in a honeytrap tactic.

Veterans travelled from Scotland at the weekend to take part in a memorial service organised by the Belfast branch of the Royal British Legion.

David McCaughey, a cousin of Mr McCaughey, said he hopes the republican women feel remorse for what they did.

He said the nature of how the young soldiers were killed is what hurt the families most.

“If they had been killed in a bomb or by a sniper that would be one thing, but to have been off duty and to have been lured by women like that. It was a horrible way to die,” he said.

“I hope that when they look at the faces of their grandchildren, those females see the faces of the soldiers. I hope it haunts them for the rest of their lives.”

One of David’s sons, Scott, was born on the anniversary of the soldier’s deaths. He said it gave the family a poignant bit of happiness amid the sadness.

David McCaughey said the frequent attacks on the memorial to the soldiers at Whitebrae “stuck in his throat”.

The memorial has been attacked six times in 18 months.

It cost £1,700 to fix last year and almost as soon as it was replaced it was attacked again with paint.

“Poppy wreaths have been burnt, ‘Orange b******s’ and ‘IRA’ painted on it,” he said.

“It sticks in my throat, why can’t people just leave the memorial alone, let them rest in peace. It’s not like it’s somewhere that you would be walking past a lot, it’s pretty remote – you’d need a car to get there.”

The soldiers’ platoon sergeant Phineas Sloan also attended the memorial service yesterday. He said that the night the soldiers were killed the rest of the regiment were so devastated and angry that another regiment had to be called to keep them inside their billet.

“I trained the boys, then later I accompanied their bodies home,” he said.

“People were shocked by the murders. I remembered another platoon of soldiers had to come and guard their platoon because they were so devastated and angry by what happened.”

The annual memorial parade and service to the three Scottish soldiers will take place on the last Sunday in May.