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Memorial for Donegal boy murdered by loyalists


Mr Crowley

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 18, 2008
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311
The 26C government looks set to fund a memorial for a Co Donegal teenager killed by loyalists almost 36 years ago.

The family of Henry Cunningham (16), from Carndonagh, met the minister for foreign affairs, Micheal Martin, in Leinster House yesterday.

His brother Robert presented the minister with a report by the Historical Enquiries Team (HET), which confirmed a year ago there was security-force collusion in the murder.

Henry, Robert and their brother Herbert were travelling back from work on a Belfast building site on August 9 1973 when gunmen opened fire on their van on the M2 near Glengormley.

The UVF gang is believed to have targeted the brothers because they were driving a southern-registered vehicle. In fact the Cunningham brothers were Presbyterian and travelling with Catholic fellow workers.

The Cunninghams were later shocked to learn that the inquest into Henry’s death would take place less than a month after the murder and felt their tragedy was largely ignored by authorities in the Republic.

A decade ago the Pat Finucane Centre in Derry began working with the family to ensure Henry’s murder was not forgotten.

In June last year HET investigators revealed that one of the murder weapons had been taken from a British army base in Lurgan in October 1972.

It also found that loyalist extremists had heavily infiltrated the UDR while certain RUC members were “too close” to the UVF.

Speaking after yesterday’s meeting, Paul O’Connor of the Pat Finucane Centre said it had been important for the family to give the HET report to the Irish government as it was “unlikely” that any further investigation into the murder would take place.

Mr O’Connor said the minister had acknowledged that the authorities failed to sufficiently support the Cunninghams in 1973.

Speaking earlier Robert Cunningham said: “Henry was taken from us in the prime of life but it was as if he never existed since not a single file could be found in Irish government or Garda archives.

“Henry deserved to be remembered not only by his family but by the state of which he was a citizen
 
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