IRA victim’s son sees picture of his murdered father for the very first time

Roderick Bannon was one of three Scottish soldiers murdered by the IRA on March 31, 1976
Roderick Bannon was one of three Scottish soldiers murdered by the IRA on March 31, 1976

The son of a Scottish soldier who was murdered by the IRA in Co Armagh in 1976 was able to see a picture of his father for the first time thanks to a social media account which aims to bring to light many lesser known IRA atrocities.

Conor Bannon had been nine months old when his father Roderick was one of three Scottish soldiers killed when a landmine was exploded under their vehicle.

When he saw a post of Twitter about his father’s murder, he got in contact with the person who runs the ‘On This Day The IRA’ account which had tweeted it.

The author of the account ‘On This Day The IRA’ wished to remain anonymous, although he was prepared to reveal that he is from a unionist background and grew up in the Province as the Troubles were coming to an end.

For the purposes of this article the acronym OTDTIRA will be used as his moniker.

OTDTIRA said: “On March 31, 1976 three Scottish soldiers in the Royal Scots were blown up with a 300 pounds landmine at Beleeks in South Armagh. There’s never going to be any memorial to them down there. That’s why it’s important to remember them by whatever means possible.

The News Letter front page about the IRA killing of the three Scottish soldiers, which was unearthed by OTDTIRA this month was the first time Conor Bannon had seen a photo of his father

The News Letter front page about the IRA killing of the three Scottish soldiers, which was unearthed by OTDTIRA this month was the first time Conor Bannon had seen a photo of his father

“I tweeted about those murders on March 31 last year. Very recently, the son of Roderick Bannon tweeted in reply to that thread from last year to say, ‘that’s my dad’.

OTDTIRA explained: “I had found it difficult to find material on that particular incident.

“I messaged Conor privately to ask if he had a photo of his dad that I could share when I’m tweeting about it again this March. He told me that all the photos of his father had been destroyed or lost.

“He’d been nine months when that happened and had never seen a photograph of his father.

“I messaged my researcher Hannah who works with microfilm. I knew she was a number of months ahead of where we are now.

“She had got the front page of the News Letter which had a picture of all three soldiers who had been killed.

“I was able to show him a picture of his dad for the first time. He couldn’t believe it.”