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Darkley church attacked on eve of massacre anniversary


Northern Voice

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A CHURCH due to mark the anniversary of a horrific attack that left three of its members dead has been targeted in an overnight ram raid that ended with a car set alight outside the building.

The Darkley Massacre on November 20, 1983, remains one of the most chilling acts of the Troubles.

Worshippers, mainly made up of families, at Mountain Lodge Pentecostal Church in the small south Armagh village were singing the hymn ‘Are you washed in the Blood of the Lamb?’ when gunmen burst in and shot dead three of the church elders.

The men who were murdered, 44year-old David Wilson, 59-year-old Harold Brown and 39-year-old Victor Cunningham, were all Protestant and all married with children.

Seven others were injured and, as the killers fled the scene they began firing at the congregation and sprayed the exterior of the wooden hall with bullets.

Now, as the church prepares to mark the atrocity 27 years on, it has been the target of a ram raid.

A stolen car was driven at speed through its locked gates, round its grounds and back out through a second set of locked gates during the early hours of Friday. Both sets of gates were badly damaged and the car was then set ablaze on the road directly in front of the church.

Church pastor David Bell declined to comment but Newry and Armagh UUP assemblyman Danny Kennedy, who was 24 when the atrocity happened and lives just a few miles from the village, described the incident as “despicable”.

“I can’t condemn this strongly enough,” he said. “What was visited upon the members of that church and community is not forgotten and indeed is still deeply traumatic. It’s disgraceful that anyone would behave in such a way towards the church and I’m sure the entire community is as shocked and appalled at this as I am.”

Mr Kennedy added: “This is always a very traumatic time, when memories of the murder of three church elders and injury of seven more parishioners come to the fore.

“It is disappointing, and frankly a disgrace, that anyone would inflict further stress on the people of this area, most particularly at this sad time of year.”
 

eoghanacht

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I hope they die screaming.Scumbags and can i say as an Irish Republican from the south that i'd happily hand the scum who did this over to the families of the victims.

Absolute vermin
 

needle_too

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Aug 7, 2007
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No, no, no.

Its a good thing that this happened.

Reminds us of the pointlessness of the original action.

'The lord works in mysterious ways' and all that.
 

Garibaldy

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A CHURCH due to mark the anniversary of a horrific attack that left three of its members dead has been targeted in an overnight ram raid that ended with a car set alight outside the building.

The Darkley Massacre on November 20, 1983, remains one of the most chilling acts of the Troubles.

Worshippers, mainly made up of families, at Mountain Lodge Pentecostal Church in the small south Armagh village were singing the hymn ‘Are you washed in the Blood of the Lamb?’ when gunmen burst in and shot dead three of the church elders.

The men who were murdered, 44year-old David Wilson, 59-year-old Harold Brown and 39-year-old Victor Cunningham, were all Protestant and all married with children.

Seven others were injured and, as the killers fled the scene they began firing at the congregation and sprayed the exterior of the wooden hall with bullets.

Now, as the church prepares to mark the atrocity 27 years on, it has been the target of a ram raid.

A stolen car was driven at speed through its locked gates, round its grounds and back out through a second set of locked gates during the early hours of Friday. Both sets of gates were badly damaged and the car was then set ablaze on the road directly in front of the church.

Church pastor David Bell declined to comment but Newry and Armagh UUP assemblyman Danny Kennedy, who was 24 when the atrocity happened and lives just a few miles from the village, described the incident as “despicable”.

“I can’t condemn this strongly enough,” he said. “What was visited upon the members of that church and community is not forgotten and indeed is still deeply traumatic. It’s disgraceful that anyone would behave in such a way towards the church and I’m sure the entire community is as shocked and appalled at this as I am.”

Mr Kennedy added: “This is always a very traumatic time, when memories of the murder of three church elders and injury of seven more parishioners come to the fore.

“It is disappointing, and frankly a disgrace, that anyone would inflict further stress on the people of this area, most particularly at this sad time of year.”
Where is this report from? Sickening event.
 

Green eyed monster

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I hope they die screaming.Scumbags and can i say as an Irish Republican from the south that i'd happily hand the scum who did this over to the families of the victims.

Absolute vermin
It's a brainless act, possibly of vandals (with the date as coincidence), possibly more sinister and related to the anniversary... But i think your comments are well over the top. On this joyriding event only a gate or two was damaged, not a human being. Do not conflate the attack of 83 with this incident (although joyriders are generally a serious nuisance wherever they are).

The actual perpetrators of 83 remain unknown, given that that attack was done to raise sectarian tensions, suspects would be drawn from a list of people who wanted to raise specifically sectarian tensions. Let us hope the motive for this joyriding and vandalism was not also to raise those tensions, it's bad enough that the First Minister of NI cannot resist stoking such tensions (with his hopes of decatholicising NI using the schools system).
 

Arracht

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I assumed eoghanachts comments were in relation to those who carried out the gun attack rather than the joyriders?
 

Cael

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Fifty lashes would do these lads a world of good.
 

Northern Voice

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No place of worship, whether it be a Protestant/Catholic church, synagogue or a mosque, should ever be treated in this manner. Serves no purpose.
 

James Healy

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Original act was Satanic, as is this latest one. I assume that it is the work of some of the real/continuity thugs who are just evil. I remember hearing the hymn being sung " Washed in the blood of the Lamb" which co incided with the sectarian attack on the hall. Of course IRA have always been sectarian in that they equate Prods with Brits.
 

Arracht

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Original act was Satanic, as is this latest one. I assume that it is the work of some of the real/continuity thugs who are just evil. I remember hearing the hymn being sung " Washed in the blood of the Lamb" which co incided with the sectarian attack on the hall. Of course IRA have always been sectarian in that they equate Prods with Brits.
Do you have any evidence to suggest that the recent incidence was anything other than scumbag joyriders?
If so, please post. If not stop trolling.
 

James Healy

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Do you have any evidence to suggest that the recent incidence was anything other than scumbag joyriders?
If so, please post. If not stop trolling.

At the time people said the IRA would never do that either. By their deeds we shall known them ! And Tim Pat Coogan at the time tried to explain it away as work of some mentally deranged IRA men.
 

Arracht

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At the time people said the IRA would never do that either. By their deeds we shall known them ! And Tim Pat Coogan at the time tried to explain it away as work of some mentally deranged IRA men.
So you have no evidence then and are just a troll :roll:

By your trolling deeds we know you.
 

Northern Voice

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So you have no evidence then and are just a troll :roll:

By your trolling deeds we know you.
Do you not think it seems a bit coincidental that it happened on the eve of the anniversary, though? Plus, even joyriders know churches are off limits.
 

Arracht

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Do you not think it seems a bit coincidental that it happened on the eve of the anniversary, though? Plus, even joyriders know churches are off limits.
I'm not sure that joyriders know anywhere is off limits to be honest.

If it was deliberately timed would the anniversary itself not have been more likely?
It's a despicable act but unless/until there is evidence to the contrary I think it's too much of a leap to suggest there is a connection between the two events.
 

Northern Voice

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I'm not sure that joyriders know anywhere is off limits to be honest.

If it was deliberately timed would the anniversary itself not have been more likely?
It's a despicable act but unless/until there is evidence to the contrary I think it's too much of a leap to suggest there is a connection between the two events.
Fair enough.
 

SlabMurphy

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At the time people said the IRA would never do that either. By their deeds we shall known them ! And Tim Pat Coogan at the time tried to explain it away as work of some mentally deranged IRA men.
From what I remember Tim Pat Coogan said that the individual that carried out those horrendous murders was the brother of a Catholic man who had been murdered by the loyalists. The man embittered and deranged by the death of his brother offered to store weapons for the INLA. Then taking some of the weapons he went to Darkely church and carried out the horrendous act. The INLA denounced the attacks with Dominic McGlinchey himself meeting Tim Pat Coogan.

Total scumbags for vandalising the church, lowest of the low.
 
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SevenStars

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At the time people said the IRA would never do that either. By their deeds we shall known them ! And Tim Pat Coogan at the time tried to explain it away as work of some mentally deranged IRA men.
Actually the massacre occured with INLA guns...Those guilty of the massacre included one INLA who was stood down immediately for his crime (the Chief of Staff of the INLA came out of hiding, which was taking a great risk at the time, to rightfully condemn the attack) and two civilians...All those involved had become mentally unstable as a result of random Unionist designed to make people well mentally unstable (Unionists take a lot of glee in the emotional damage they inflicted still to this day)....However the IRA was in no way involved....Unless that is you believe that the INLA was just another name for the Provos who were actually run by priests.
 
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