Cappagh Martyrs Remembered With Pride In Galbally-Cappagh

The 1916 Societies cover a recent commemorative event.

The PH Pearse Society Galbally-Cappagh would like to thank everyone for attending the 25th Anniversary events for Vol. John Quinn, Vol. Malcolm Nugent, Vol. Dwayne O’Donnell and their good friend Thomas Armstrong, especially the families and the only survivor of that night, Malachy Rafferty. We thank all who made the events the success that they were.

Firstly, the Sponsored Walk on Sunday 28th February, which was very well attended, with over 100 people taking part.

On the following Friday, all roads led to Galbally Community Centre for a ‘Night of Reflection’. There the four families spoke of their loved ones, with two close friends speaking also. Ballads were sung of local Volunteers along with a newly-written song about the four lads, sung by local singers Caron and Eimear Brannigan.

Relatives For Justice released the report Collusion in Cappagh Killings, with Mark Thompson, Mike Ritchie and Paul Butler giving a brief rundown on the report. Peter Corrigan gave a summary of the ongoing case for truth and justice and rounded off the evening with a recitation of Padraig Pearse’s ‘The Mother’.

On Sunday 6th March, over 1,000 people made their way to Galbally Community Centre before parading to the Monument in Cappagh. Along the route Flag Bearers stopped at the Memorial outside Boyle’s Bar, lowering their flags to a minute’s silence.

Proceedings were started with Vol. Dwayne O’Donnell’s sister reading the 1916 Proclamation before Vol. Malcolm Nugent’s niece read the Tyrone Brigade Roll of Honor, accompanied by a lament. Wreaths were then laid by the families, Friends and Comrades East Tyrone, the PH Pearse Society Galbally-Cappagh, Tyrone National Graves Association, along with other wreaths.

Thomas Armstrong’s brother lowered our National Flag accompanied by a lament from Vol. John Quinn’s sister. Local singers Caron and Eimear Brannigan then sung again the song in memory of these four brave men. Proceedings were ended with Caron Brannigan singing Amhrán na bhFiann and afterwards several hundred people returned to Galbally Community Centre for tea and refreshments.


  1. Would there have really needed to be collusion? I mean, the provisionals operated in the area by sending scout cars ahead, surely this lot would have done the same? I've been around this area quite a bit albeit a few years ago, there are plenty of roads to affect an escape.

    And 'knowing the layout of the bar', could they not have quickly popped in a few weeks before? Those killed in the car were just unlucky, obviously they were not the intended target.

    Don't get me wrong,collusion did happen, this one seems to be better explained by occams razor though?

  2. Perhaps you should read the report 'Collusion in Cappagh Killings' Steve. If I knew how to link it to my comment I would but Frankie has posted it elsewhere.

    Let there be no doubt, whether the lads in the car were killed by happenstance or design, there was high level collusion involved in the attack on Malachy's, which also formed part of a broader strategy in the wider Mid-Ulster area.

    Collusion reaches right to the top of the British state and is much more sinister than might immediately be realised. Think back and you most likely rejected it as a 'republican conspiracy' when first these allegations were being revealed. That no longer holds water. The hard reality is that what republicans have been saying all along is not propaganda but the devastating truth.

    In terms of public disclosure we are only at the tip of the iceberg and Britain is working extremely hard to cover its tracks and its awful crimes. When we have solicitors being intimidated with threats of prosecution under the Official Secrets Act for simply asking questions of witnesses then we know there is something serious at stake.

    Britain fears the truth and sadly many who support her continued presence in Ireland do likewise. The entire facade of the British rule is at stake here and they know it.