Belfast Telegraph

Victims' campaigner Travers hits out at new dissident mural as 'a glorification of murder'

Saoradh mural
Saoradh mural
Ann Travers

By Lisa Smyth

Victims' campaigner Ann Travers has hit out at the unveiling of a new republican paramilitary mural in Newry.

Ms Travers, whose 22-year-old sister Mary was murdered in an IRA gun attack as she left church in 1984, has expressed her disappointment at the mural created by republican political party Saoradh in conjunction with its new youth wing, Eistigi.

The mural depicts a masked gunman with a Starry Plough flag in the background.

Unveiling the mural, Saoradh said the image used in the mural has been associated with revolutionary republicanism in Newry for many years, originally appearing in 1992.

A previous version of the mural in Newry had the letters 'IRA' painted beside it - but now it appears to have been appropriated by dissidents.

A Saoradh statement continued: "The message that we are putting out is that we still have work to do. The republican liberation struggle is far from over and there is unfinished business.

"This mural has now re-emerged, much like the vibrant, and militant, brand of republicanism that encompasses our movement."

The party also said more murals will be erected in coming months as the organisation continues to grow in popularity.

"Saoradh is a relatively new republican movement formed in the centenary year of the Easter Rising in 2016, and during 2018 we officially launched a local craobh (branch) in the Newry area," said the statement. "Our Newry craobh has gone from strength to strength and has significantly increased in members and activism since we launched here in April.

"We are growing, organising and rebuilding the republican movement in working-class areas of Newry."

Reacting to Saoradh's claims of "unfinished business", Ms Travers said: "There isn't really much I can say except I am saddened that there are still people and organisations that feel they need to glorify murder.

"Killing people doesn't achieve anything; following a politically democratic process is the only way to move forward."

In July last year it emerged that Ms Travers had taken up a new role fighting for justice for victims of terrorism.

She was one of four new workers appointed to the South East Fermanagh Foundation's (SEFF) advocacy service.

Ms Travers came to prominence after speaking out about her sister's murder following the appointment of Mary McArdle as a special adviser to the then Culture Minister Caral Ni Chuilin.

McArdle was part of the IRA gang that ambushed magistrate Tom Travers and his family as they left Mass in 1984, resulting in the death of his daughter Mary.

Belfast Telegraph


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