Volunteer Josie Connolly 25th Anniversary Commemoration

The Sean MacDiarmada Society Aghyaran/Castlederg with a press statement on a commomorative event for IRA volunteer Josie Connolly on the 25th anniversary of his death.

The Sean MacDiarmada Society Aghyaran/Castlederg held a 25th anniversary commemoration for our esteemed friend and comrade Volunteer Josie Connolly on Sunday past, the 9th of February, at his graveside in Aghyaran in conjunction with his family. We take this opportunity to extend sincere thanks from both ourselves and the Connolly family to all who attended and participated in the day's events.

The huge numbers who gathered in solidarity with Josie's family, to remember his life and sacrifice, is a proud testament to the fact that his memory and ideals remain forever in the hearts of the people of West
Tyrone. We will continue to remember him, and all those who gave their lives for Irish freedom, with dignity and respect as we strive to provide the only fitting tribute to them - which remains the realisation of the reunified, independent and democratic Ireland for which they died.

Assembling at the graveside under a guard of honour provided by West Tyrone 1916 Societies wreaths were laid on behalf of the family, the local 1916 Societies, Friends and Comrades and Tyrone National Graves. A touching reflection on Josie's life was read by his sister Aine, reminding those present of the determined service Josie gave to the republican movement in defence of his people while reinforcing the abiding memory of him as a loving, caring brother who had so much to offer in life - from his precocious ability in the boxing ring and on the field of his local GAA club, Castlederg St. Eugene's, to his excellent work with the young folk in the area encouraging them to fulfill their own sporting promise.

Both ourselves and the Connolly family again extend our appreciation to the hundreds who turned out to honour and pay tribute to Josie's memory. It gives us great confidence and belief to know his spirit lives on in those he continues to inspire, in both West Tyrone and further afield. His honour and dedication serve as a guiding light to those he left behind. We will always remember with pride our dear brother, our friend and our comrade, Volunteer James 'Josie' Connolly


  1. Thanks Anthony. Was a fitting and dignified event worthy of the man

  2. RIP Vol Josie Connolly-

    " The Sean MacDiarmada society Aghyaran/Castlederg
    HELD a 25th Anniversary commemoration "

    Before that event was held which Sinn Fein were invited to the people were insured that this was a independent parade- now that it's over the society's are claiming that they ran it -

  3. The Societies are independent Mickey and all republicans were invited. Some chose to ignore the express wishes of the family but sure that hardly counts in the warped world that is your mind

  4. Sean-

    Plenty of family's did not want their Republican members taking part in the 1916 rising and every rising since and you would have bowed to them-

    The Societies might say that they are independent but they have now admitted that it was them that held that commemoration as mentioned in the above statement by them and it was not a independent march as they promised-

  5. AM-

    " Family's fury at Sinn Fein event "-

    If that family was furious at the Quill for having a story about Vol Josie Connelly would you remove said story/post-or come to think of it-if any family did not want a story on the Quill about any of the fallen would you bow down to them-I don't think you would-

  6. The Connolly family are quite happy with the piece being carried on the Quill as it was done in conjunction with them. Thanks again Tony for carrying it

  7. Sean,

    I no longer respond to comments about what is suitbale or not suitable for TPQ. If people don't like it they are not obliged to read it.

    I feel honoured to carry any tribute to a dead volunteer. Just as I felt honoured to carry the coffin of any volunteer.

    Thanks for sending it to us. I remember so well this volunteer dying and was talking to Bobby Storey in the jail immediately after it where both of us had noticed the fact that he refused to speak or reveal anything despite his condition.

    In my own view the British administration at Stormont has no place at the graves of dead volunteers. They will soon be discarding the commemorations to the same volunteers.

  8. Sinn Fein, having already chosen to insult the Connolly family, now see fit to add yet more to their injury through the online rantings of one of their elected representatives, Michael Henry McIvor from Ardboe. Am I the only one who finds this man and his party's behaviour totally outrageous? The family have already spoken publicly of the hurt caused by this entire unseemly episode yet Sinn Fein persist in adding to their pain - it surely beggars the question why. This type of despicable badgering should cease immediately and the hard-won respect the Connolly family has earned through years of dedicated service to republicanism in West Tyrone should be upheld regardless of political affiliations

  9. Why do we bother to respond to a drunken member of a paedophile protecting party who has the brains of Willie Frazer? This clown exists in his own wee world and he hasn't the balls to back up his comments when publicly challenged.

    McIvor only reminds us that PSF would take any idiot so we should just make fun of him instead of wasting time trying to debate with a sheeps arse hole...

  10. FAO Michael Henry - I am a member of the Societies and have read and observed your "comments" and posts on various threads. A question - why do you continuously denigrate republicans and attempt to stir cac? Note I said "republicans", and not "other republicans". How much are the Shinners or MI5 paying you to continuously stir it? Your "comments" are so divisive that I can only interpret them as black propaganda - you should be writing for the Sunday World, or some other Lisburn Lie Machine rag. You haven't even got the liathroidi to sign your name to the cac you write...

  11. Michael, it hasn't been revealed the Societies were hosting the event, we advertised it as a Societies event but it is independent in that we merely facilitated the family to commemorate their loved one themselves with the same dignity and pride that their relative gave his life for his country.

    Dignity, unfortunately, is not something you'd know anything about even if it came from behind and kicked you in the ass....

  12. FAO Michael Henry - I have read with bemusement your "comments" on various issues. A question - why do you feel it necessary to denigrate republicans? Note I said "republicans", and not "other republicans"because you certainly aren't one. Your offensive drivel strikes me as having been composed/approved by one of two sources - the Lisburn Lie Machine aka the Brit Army press Office, or the Shinners, not that there is much difference between the two. I suppose you must have some sense of shame, or self preservation, given you haven't the liathroidi to sign your true name to the cac you write...

  13. Mickey,

    that’s a minimal point “it was not a independent march as they promised-“

    It kind of takes the sting out of all the promises SF made (sarcasm) after all the party of broken promises is only taking on us on the SF magical mystery tour where we shall end up is the united kingdom of Eire.

  14. The thing about it is though Tain that it was stated from the very beginning that the Societies were assisting the family in organising the commemoration - it was carried in the Irish News which quite obviously Sinn Fein did not bother to read. But why let that get in the way of their despicable agenda, why let that interfere with their callous attempt to deride the family's special day as anything less than what it was - an independent event to remember the dearly loved brother who no doubt they miss every single day

  15. Sean,

    Mickey could care less about the commemoration and even less about the family.
    His usual gripe is when anyone or anything slights the almighty SF.

    I doubt it was a case of SF being absent minded and more a case of them wanting to use the tribute for their agenda.

    But you have to admit it is refreshing hearing Mickey display some human emotion albeit in his typical defense of British SF.

    The sad part is that such comments should be ignored as the important thing is the remembrance.

  16. The Pensive Quill would do its readers a service if in reporting commemorations like that for Josie Connolly we were told something about the background. Reading about young Connolly's life in 'Lost Lives' - so badly injured by his own bomb that his father could not recognise him - and then about the deaths of those killed by the pistol found at the scene of the bombing - the horror and tragedy are overwhelming. In the preceding post IRSP activist Eddie McGarrigle quotes Bernadette McAliskey to the effect that 'the war is over and the good guys lost' - but what republican or socialist could think about Josie Connolly and say that his death and the deaths of the working class Protestants he was associated with can be divided between 'good guys' and 'bad guys', like an obscene cowboy film? This is particularly tragic when you consider that the bomb that exploded prematurely was intended for a plumber who worked for the same company that employed Josie Connolly.

  17. Mark-

    That plumber who worked in the same company was armed with a gun because he was a member of the British forces who killed civilians for 100s of years and in all the years which Josie lived and they are still killing civilians around the world today-something which you don't seem to have a problem with as you don't mention that Josie's target was a in a murder group-Josie was right in leading the fight back in his area against that murder group-

  18. Mark,
    Maybe you could do the readers a service by telling us a bit more about the plumber ?