Crowds mark Clonoe ambush 20th anniversary – video19th February 2012 | By: brendan64 | 4 Comments »
Crowds have taken part in a torchlight procession to mark 20 years since four IRA members were killed in Clonoe by undercover soldiers.
East Tyrone Brigade members Peter Clancy, 19, Barry O’Donnell, 21, Sean O’Farrell, 23, and Patrick Vincent, 20, were shot dead by SAS forces outside Clonoe chapel on February 16, 1992, following an IRA machine gun attack on Coalisland’s RUC station.
The torchlight commemoration was among several events held over the past few days to mark the 20th anniversary of the Clonoe ambush.
Several events were organised by the Eamonn Ceannt Society in Coalisland and Clonoe, and the Thomas Clarke Society, Dungannon.
Crowds gathered on Thursday evening for a procession from Edendork Hall and for several candle-lighting ceremonies at the grave sites of the men killed in the 1992 incident. A memorial night of song and stories was held on Friday evening at Clonoe Community Centre.
Wreath-laying ceremonies were held at each of the graves on Saturday, followed by an inquest discussion in association with Relatives for Justice in the Cornmill.
The commemorative events are to draw to a close on Sunday afternoon with a national commemoration from Clonoe to Coalisland.
Relatives of the four men have renewed calls for the government to hold an inquest into their deaths.
The four Provisional IRA members were killed after being involved in an attack on Coalisland’s RUC station with a heavy machine gun, mounted on the back of a stolen lorry. No police officers were injured in the attack.
But as the men tried to dump the lorry in Clonoe chapel car park and escape in getaway cars, members of a specialist undercover military unit opened fire.
Angered relatives of the four IRA men say the RUC had sufficient information to make arrests, but a high-level decision was made to shoot them dead in a “shoot-to-kill” operation.
Video of the torchlight event held in memory of the four IRA members: