Belfast Telegraph

Memorial in north Belfast is vandalised for 19th time

By Rebecca Black

A memorial to three young Scottish soldiers murdered by the IRA in north Belfast has been vandalised for the 19th time.

Two poppy wreaths were stolen and the letters RNU (Republican Network for Unity) and IRA scrawled across the memorial stone.

The memorial to the McCaig brothers, John (17) and Joseph (18) from Ayr, and Dougald McCaughey (23) from Glasgow, is located in the remote White Brae area where the three were killed by the IRA in 1971. They had been lured there by women after a night out in Belfast.

The memorial has been wrecked 19 times, including the daubing of graffiti on it and attempts to smash the stone. It was most recently attacked two weeks ago.

Jim Wright is chairman of the Oldpark/Cavehill branch of the Royal British Legion, which erected the memorial. He said it is time for more than simply words of condemnation.

"Just like the cowards who murdered John, Joe and Dougald, these low life cowards cannot show their faces, they carry out their attacks under the cover of darkness," he said.

"As a branch we will not be deterred in ensuring that the murder of these young soldiers, who were off duty and out socialising in Belfast in 1971, will never be forgotten. The time has come for the community which these people come from to do more than simply condemn these attacks."

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