Belfast Telegraph

Memorial to 18 soldiers killed in IRA Warrenpoint ambush restored after latest attack

By Stewart Robson

A new plaque commemorating 18 soldiers who were killed in the IRA's Warrenpoint ambush in 1979 has been unveiled.

The previous memorial was stolen after a Remembrance Sunday service.

Wreaths and wooden crosses were also taken in what was the latest in a series of attacks on the site at Narrow Water.

Sixteen members of the Parachute Regiment and two Queen's Own Highlanders died in the double bomb attack. It was the single biggest loss of life the Army suffered during the Troubles. A civilian also died after being shot by soldiers.

Richard McKee, a Kilkeel resident who reinstated the plaque, said he was happy to see it return.

"Over Christmas we have a lot of relatives of the dead coming here to remember their loved ones so it was important to have this plaque put back in place," he said.

"I bought a new plaque, as well as new wreaths being placed thanks to others."

Mr McKee was keen to highlight the fact that the damage had been condemned by all sides of the community.

"It's not just unionist people who were angry about what happened," he added.

"People from republican backgrounds have stopped me and said that this was totally unacceptable."

He called for better lighting around the site.

Ulster Unionist councillor David Taylor welcomed the plaque's return.

"There is a challenge to ensure this site is protected and important that people look after it," he added.

"I hope that people will show the site and plaque the respect it deserves and I'm very willing to propose to the council or governmental department to see if it can be better lit than it is at present."

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