Derrybeg: 7

Patrick Hughes of Derrybeg was one of nine people killed when an IRA bomb exploded prematurely at the Customs Clearance Office on Dublin Road. Two other IRA men lost their lives along with three lorry drivers and three customs officials. 

Another IRA man from Derrybeg, Eddie Grant was killed in a bomb attack on Malachy Clarke’s pub on Monaghan Street on Christmas Eve. A young boy named Harshaw who had called to collect his father also died. 


On the brighter side Derrybeg made the world headlines as the focal point of the massive Civil Rights March the week after Bloody Sunday. 


Many leading figures including MPs, TDs and Irish Ministers took part and were accommodated overnight in case the British Army sealed off the area and prevented people from participating. One resident asked me to photograph his family with his guests, film star Vanessa Redgrave and Bernadette Devlin MP. 


Two students from Leicester University who came here for the March stayed in the ‘Beg with Dessie McGennity and his wife Brea. So impressed were they by the sportsman that they invited him to join a high-powered panel in addressing an audience of over 4000 on the conflict in the North. 


Later they secured employment for Dessie on the University campus!


…. more later …

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