Belfast Telegraph

Family anger as memorial to UVF victim Eileen Duffy attacked in Craigavon

By Cate McCurry

The brother of a teenager murdered by a UVF gang in Co Armagh has hit out at the thugs who destroyed a memorial erected after the attack.

Brendan Duffy, whose sister, Eileen (19) was one of three Catholics who were shot dead in a mobile shop in the Drumbeg estate in Craigavon in 1991, said it is the second time the monument has been targeted.

Vandals who targeted the memorial smashed off a cross in a case and destroyed part of the brickwork on Saturday night.

Brendan has vowed to rebuild the precious memorial.

The notorious 1991 triple murder sent shockwaves through the community.

Eileen was working at the shop, talking to two other teenagers, when the UVF gunmen shot her and friend Katrina Rennie (16).

Brian Frizzell was approaching the shop when the gunmen ordered him to lie on the pavement and shot him nine times.

Brendan found his sister slumped on the floor.

Two men were convicted for their part in the attack.

The shooting was carried out by the UVF's Mid-Ulster Brigade led by Billy Wright.

The UVF claimed the killing under the Protestant Action Force cover name.

Brendan said that while bricks can be replaced, the memories of his sister "will never be eroded".

"It's disappointing there are people in the community who feel the need to do that," he said.

"For me and anyone else who knows what the memorial was there for understands how hurtful this is.

"We understand that it was a group of young lads who jumped over the fence around the memorial.

"There's a cross at the top above a case and it looks as if it has been shaken out and they broke all the bricks around it.

"That's the second time it has been destroyed after it was erected on the 20th anniversary of their deaths.

"I don't think anyone in their right mind who knew what it was for would have done it. It's not nice to see it happening.

"Bricks and concrete can be replaced but our memories of her will never be eroded. That's the way we look at it."

Brendan explained that the memorial was erected by the local community, and they have also vowed to replace it.

He added: "You will always get these young thugs who don't understand what it means to us as families and the local area.

"It did hit us a bit but it can be replaced and a friend of mine has offered to fix it. We'll get it back to as good as we can do."

Brendan also confirmed he and other families of murder victims are pursuing legal action against the police, the Ministry of Defence and a leading loyalist.

The families are set to issue writs against Portadown loyalist, Alan Oliver, the PSNI and the MoD, accusing them of "unlawful killing, negligence, breach of statutory duty and misfeasance in public affairs".

Oliver (46), a born-again Christian, is a deacon in Portadown Elim Church.

He has previously denied being an informer named in court papers as a UVF gunman.

The case is being taken by Brendan and by the family of Tess and Charlie Fox, a Co Tyrone couple said to have been murdered by the same UVF gang as Eileen Duffy almost a year later.

Their bodies were discovered by their daughter, Bernadette.

A week earlier, the couple's son had been jailed for 12 years for possessing an IRA bomb.

Both families have been granted legal aid to pursue their case.

Speaking about the legal action, Brendan added: "That's still ongoing but it's slow progress.

"We are hoping to lodge the papers on Oliver himself very soon.

"We want to see him inside a court and get justice for Eileen."

Belfast Telegraph


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