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Anger at massacre site over SF visit

By Lesley-Anne Henry

Unionists and republicans clashed in Co Down during a weekend event at the site of a 1970s IRA ambush.

A counter demonstration was held on Saturday to protest at an Ogra Shinn Fein visit to Narrow Water near Warrenpoint — where 18 soldiers were killed in a double bomb attack in August 1979.

Up to a dozen protesters, including Willie Frazer of Families Acting for Innocent Relatives (FAIR), and DUP MLA Jim Wells voiced their opposition to the event.

They branded the Ogra Shinn Fein trip an “insult to victims” and gathered at the scene with placards of Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy, the ex- IRA chief-of-staff accused of masterminding the attack.

Mr Wells accused the group of participating in “gratuitously offensive behaviour.”

Mr Fraser said: “It was simply another move to glorify terrorism.”

Fra Cochrane, the chairperson of Ogra Shinn Fein in Newcastle, described the Narrow Water excursion as an “historical visit”.

“We want to discuss the conflict itself, and Narrow Water is one of the things which happened in south Down during the conflict,” he added.

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