Out-going Councillor honoured at Vol. Fergal Caraher commemoration

January 6, 2014

Óglach Fergal Caraher was commemorated at the annual wreath laying ceremony in his honour, which was held in Cullyhanna on Monday 30th December 2013, the 23rd anniversary of his death.

The brief commemorative ceremony was organised by members of the Michael McVerry Sinn Féin Cumann, Cullyhanna and was chaired by upcoming election candidate Barra Ó Muirí who paid tribute to Fergal’s family members, in particular his wife and son, who were devastated by the murder of Fergal.

Recalling the event, he said: “The brutal murder of Fergal Caraher at Christmas time 23 years ago was a terrible blow to the Caraher family and to the south Armagh community.  Fergal, who was aged just 20, had so much to live for yet he was denied the chance to see his son grow up and his entire future was robbed from him.

“Tonight we come to pay our respects to Fergal Caraher’s memory and to his family as we take a moment to display our solidarity with them.”

Following the commemoration, those assembled made their way to the nearby St. Patrick’s GFC where tributes were paid to out-going Newry and Mourne District councillor, Colman Burns.

In recognition of his commitment and service to the south Armagh community, through his role as a Sinn Fein councillor, Newry and Armagh MP Conor Murphy was on hand to make a presentation on behalf of members of the Michael McVerry and Burns and Moley Sinn Féin cumainn to Colman Burns.

Paying tribute to his colleague, Mr Murphy said: “Colman Burns has served this community as a councillor for the past 13 years.  During that time he has participated in all of Newry and Mourne Council’s major committees and he even served as Mayor of the district in 2008-2009, a role to which he brought his inimitable wit and good humour.

“During his time as an elected representative, Colman worked tirelessly for the good of the people of this area.  Issues such as road repairs, housing problems, agricultural issues and provision of facilities for the people of south Armagh are all things that Colman delivered on.  On behalf of Sinn Féin and the people of the area I want to thank Colman, his wife Kathleen and family and I wish him well in the next chapter of his life.”

Commenting on the upcoming council elections, he added: “The time leading up to the council elections of May 2014 will usher huge changes for Sinn Féin locally.  In South Armagh we will be standing four brand new candidates along with current councillor Terry Hearty.  While this is an exciting move it means that familiar faces such as Colman Burns, Jimmy McCreesh, Anthony Flynn, Pat McGinn, Turlough Murphy and Packie McDonald will no longer be councillors.  Each will still have a vital role to play both in assisting with the election of the new candidates and also into the future as we continue to strive for the creation of an equal and united Ireland.”

At this evening’s (Monday) meeting of Newry and Mourne District Council, Sinn Fein’s election candidates [Barra Ó Muirí, Dáire Hughes, Michael Larkin, Liz Kimmins and Roisín Mulgrew] are expected to be co-opted into the positions of the out-going councillors.