Living History, — May 27, 2010 9:12 — 0 Comments

Reavey family vindicated

Four Victims Commissioners were set up by the Executive to help those afflicted by our recent Troubles. One such victim, who suffered especially because of that bigot-turned-alleged-peacemaker, Paisley, is on my mind. Sadie Reavey is one of the loveliest ladies, that one could meet; a great champion of peace.  

How can Paisley sleep in his bed, I wonder? What has local Commissioner Brendan McAllister done for this beautiful lady and her wonderful family, I’d like to ask? You will have further questions. The matter arises because, amid minimal publicity, the entire Reavey family have been found by the Historical Enquiries team completely innocent of wrongdoing.


In the darkest days of the first month of 1976 a murderous gang of Loyalists-cum-Security Force personnel took it upon themselves to slaughter innocent Catholics in South Armagh to teach the IRA a lesson in their own ‘backyard’. Paisley disavowed any knowledge of the actions or personnel of the Glenanne Gang (though apparently totally cognizant of Republican paramilitary personnel!). Among their victims were brothers John, Brian and Anthony Reavey who about that time attended the Abbey with your editor. 


They were super, friendly, sociable, politically-disinterested youths whose lives centred – as do those of most youth – round friends, school, work and football. Eugene Reavey – a terrific man who is well-known and extremely well-respected by all of South Armagh and of a much wider area – was fortunate to escape due only to his absence from the family home that evening.


A few days later some Provos (disaffected it is believed: that paramilitary group never acknowledged it!) posing as the Catholic Reaction Force lined up against a hedge a minivan full of Protestant workers at Kingsmills and gunned them to death. Only Alan Black (another lovely man of my acquaintance – as were a number of the other hapless victims of that awful massacre) escaped with his life though seriously injured. 


The bigot Paisley in his capacity as Westminster MP – under parliamentary privilege – denounced Eugene Reavey as a participant in the latter massacre. He had seen a ‘security forces document’. 


Even subsequent to the HET’s total vindication of Eugene and the other Reaveys the Reverend Ian Paisley Senior refuses to retract the awful calumny he committed against the innocent.


The first to call Eugene Reavey to offer congratulations on the HSE conclusion was the above-mentioned Alan Black, victim of the Kingsmills attack.


And what of 88 year-old Sadie Reavey who perhaps suffered the most?


‘Every day,’ says Eugene, her much-maligned son,


‘She prays for those who murdered her sons.’


Don’t you pause to wonder who the children of God in this tale are?


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