Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Reavey brothers plaque unveiled

A plaque to commemorate the three Reavey brothers who were murdered by a UVF gang was unveiled at the family home in Whitecross on Saturday.

Brothers John Martin (24), Brian (22) and Anthony (17) were gunned down in a sectarian attack on their rural home on 4th January 1976.

The attack was carried out by the UVF’s infamous Glenanne gang, which operated in the “murder triangle” area of counties Armagh and Tyrone. The gang included British soldiers from the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR), police officers from the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), and members of the Mid-Ulster Brigade of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).[3][4

The carnage in Whitecross was the beginning of a horrific 24 hours in Northern Ireland in which 16 people were murdered.

The erection of the plaque at the scene of the murders, now home to Frank Reavey, one of the stricken men’s brothers, brought a finality to commemorative events held throughout last year to mark the 40th Anniversary of the shootings and a sense of closure for the Reavey family.

Kathleen McHale, Coleen and Eileen Reavey, pictured at Saturday's unveiling of the plaque to commemorate their brothers John Martin, Brian and Anthony who were murdered by the UVF at their home in Whitecross in January 1976.

Local political representatives joined with the Reavey family and friends for the special ceremony which saw the plaque blessed by Cannon Frank Kearney, longstanding family friend of the Reaveys.

Darragh Mackin of Kevin Winters Solicitors, who is representing the family in the legacy inquest into the killings, spoke at the unveiling along with Eugene Reavey, the murdered men’s brother, who has vigorously campaigned for those responsible for the killings to be brought to justice. He spoke of the importance of the plaque unveiling as recognition of where his brothers died and he thanked everyone present for remembering his brothers in such a special way and for the support he and his family continue to receive from the wider community.

Full Pictorial in our gallery.