Remembering the black lives murdered by Irish republican terrorists

The 10 black victims of terrorism, eight soldiers and two civilians, were not just lives that mattered but heroes, writes KENNY DONALDSON of Innocent Victims United

Monday, 8th June 2020, 10:45 am
Updated Monday, 8th June 2020, 1:31 pm
Black lives murdered by terrorists: Top rown from left: Pte Eustace Handley; Kingsman Marcel James Doglay; Gnr Errol Gordon; Gnr Anthony Brian Abbott Middle row: Pte Lynford Pryce; L/Cpl Grenville Winstone; Pte Anthony Carlos Harrison; L/Cpl Paul Garrett Bottom row: Julius Stephen; Abayoni (Max) Olorunda

Unlike recent converts to morality, our position is absolutely consistent and clear where murder is concerned.

At Innocent Victims United, we say it is wrong irrespective of race, creed or any other man-made claim of difference.

There are no ifs, buts or maybes — the murder of George Floyd was shocking and horrific and there must follow justice.

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Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Michelle O'Neill of Sinn Fein at the newly painted mural to George Floyd in west Belfast. Kenny Donaldson asks of Sinn Fein: "You state that George Floyd’s life matters, that Black Lives matter, does this extend to those black innocents murdered by the Provisional IRA?" Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

For anyone to try and diminish what has happened through seeking to divert attention to George’s previous criminal record is also wrong and without moral fibre.

However, many people in Northern Ireland have been sickened by the response of the leaders of the Provisional republican movement, and the loaded mural which has been produced in west Belfast claiming to depict events in the US and which Sinn Fein senior politicians have flocked to to have their photographs taken, stating that their concern and solidarity is with the cause of the black community.

So then, please Michelle O’Neill, Gerry Kelly and the rest of you who have been seeking to endear yourselves on these issues: answer the following simple question — you state that George Floyd’s life matters, that Black Lives matter, does this extend to those black innocents murdered by the Provisional IRA?

• Pte Eustace Handley, a King’s Regiment soldier was murdered on 23rd May 1972 by Provisional IRA terrorists. Eustace, single and aged 20 years old was shot in the neck clearing barricades on Springhill Avene, Belfast Eustace was born in St Kitts and he died almost immediately.

Eustace Handley was providing public service and he is a hero.

• Kingsman Marcel James Doglay was a 28 year old married soldier originally from the Seychelles. He was a talented boxer who was British Army Lightweight champion and had represented both England and Northern Ireland in various tournaments. On 31st May 1972, Kgn Dooglay was off duty at his base in the Springfield Road RUC station. Repair work at the base was being carried out by civilian workman and one or more of them had brought in a bomb estimated at 30lbs of explosives hidden in a fire extinguisher. When the bomb exploded, it caused a large amount of damage and Kgn Doglay was killed by the blast. Other soldiers at the base received various injuries. Jimmy Doglay was laid to rest at St. Patrick’s Churchyard, Downpatrick, Co Down.

James Doglay was providing public service and he is a hero.

• Gnr Errol Gordon who was murdered on 7th August 1972. He was one of two soldiers murdered in an ambush near Lisnaskea, Fermanagh. A landmine exploded under Land Rover as it was on patrol about 10 miles from the border. Errol was 22 years old, single and was originally from Kingston, Jamaica.

Errol Gordon was providing public service and he is a hero.

• Julius Stephen who was murdered on 15th March 1976 by The Provisional IRA, Julius was a train driver who was shot dead after he tried to tackle a Provisional IRA terrorist, following a premature bomb explosion in the front carriage of the train at West Ham Underground Station.

Julius Stephen was providing public service and he is a hero.

• Gnr Anthony Brian Abbott was a 20 year old single soldier from Bury in Lancashire and a member of 46 (Talavera) Battery.

On 24th October 1976, Gnr Abbot was a member of a 6 man landrover mobile patrol in the Ardoyne area when they were ordered to investigate a suspected abandoned car in Oakfield. As the patrol reached the car and they dismounted, they came under intense gunfire from terrorists using an old warehouse as a firing point. Gnr Abbot was killed immediately and four other members of the patrol were wounded, one critically, who was to die from his wounds a month later. ‘Joey’ Abbot was laid to rest in Bury Cemetery, Lancashire.

Joey Abbot was providing public service and he is a hero.

• Pte Lynford Pryce was a 21 year old single soldier from Sheffield but born in Jamaica. On 23rd October 1979, he deployed with his unit for a 4 month tour of duty in West Belfast. On 26th January 1980, Pte Pryce was a member of a foot patrol at the Macrory park base on the Whiterock Road when they came under fire from terrorists. Pte Pryce was fatally shot and died almost immediately. Errol Pryce was laid to rest at City Road Cemetery, Sheffield.

Pte Lynford was providing public service and he is a hero.

• Abayoni (Max) Olorunda who was murdered on 17th January 1980. Max was murdered following the premature detonation of a Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) incendiary bomb aboard a Ballymena to Belfast passenger train service (known as the Dunmurry train explosion). The blast engulfed a carriage of the train in flames, killing three (including two civilians and one of the bombers) and injuring five others. Max was civilian and aged 35 years old, married with three children.

Max was an accountant by profession, he was providing a public service and he is a hero.

• L/Cpl Grenville Winstone was a 27 year old soldier from Bedford. On 18th March 1981, he deployed with his unit on a 4 month tour of duty to South Armagh based at Bessbrook army camp. On 19th May 1981, L/Cpl Winstone was a member of a mobile patrol aboard a Saracen armoured vehicle in the Bessbrook area. As the patrol was travelling along Chancellor’s Road near the village of Altnaveigh, a terrorist bomb hidden in a culvert and estimated at 1,000lbs of explosives was detonated. The blast threw the 11 ton vehicle into the air totally destroying it. L/Cpl Winstone along with 3 fellow RGJ soldiers plus their RCT driver were killed. Gren Winstone was laid to rest in Bedford Cemetery.

Grenville Winstone was providing public service and he is a hero.

• Pte Anthony Carlos Harrison was a 21 year old single soldier from North London. In March 1992, he deployed with his unit, ‘C’ Company, on a 4 month emergency tour of duty in Co Tyrone. On 19th June 1992, Pte Harrison was off duty and visiting his fiancé who lived close to Palace Barracks. His presence there had been seen by terrorists and pretending to be postmen, a murder team forced their way into his fiance’s house and Pte Harrison was shot dead. Tony Harrison was laid to rest in New Southgate Cemetery, North London.

Tony Harrison was providing public service and he is a hero.

• L/Cpl Paul Garrett (18/26th Royal Regiment of Artillery) who was murdered on 2nd December 1993. Paul was single and aged 23 years. Paul was shot on patrol in Keady, south Armagh. Bernard McGinn laughed when sentenced to multiple life terms for, among other crimes, his part in the murder. He was then released in July the following year under the terms of The Belfast Agreement.

Paul Garrett was providing public service and he is a hero.

• Kenny Donaldson is a spokesperson for Innocent Victims United, an umbrella group representing victims of terrorism

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