“The Story Of The Murder Of Volunteer Seamus Bradley On The 31st Of July 1972, Operation Motorman.
On the 4th of July 1972, the British government met with army intelligence and army personnel, between them they created a blue print which was first called operation carcan to later be changed to operation motorman. In this secret meeting that place on the 4th of July, the army were to take 20,000 troops from the UN forces, and the government gave orders on a shoot to kill policy and confirmed that no soldier would be held accountable for their actions on that day. Over 1,500 of these soldiers and 300 centurion tanks were sent to free Derry to tear down the barricades and cause havoc, but the provisional IRA intercepted their blue print and decided to step down to protect the innocent people of Northern Ireland. It was 4:10am, there were 25 – 30 people at the Creggan shops when there was gunfire heard, Vol. Seamus Bradley unarmed drew attention to himself to save others.
He ran down Bishop field where a soldier was to get out of a saracen, take aim in a kneeling position and fire two shots hitting him in the back, Vol. Seamus Bradley fell. Then the saracen drove down the field to where he lay, they put him in the saracen and took him away to St. Peter’s school, no one knew what happened after that. All they know is that he was interrogated, the pictures tell their own story. He was shot again three more times at close range, he was tortured and beaten and left to bleed to death at the hands of the British army. Afterwards it was confirmed by a doctor that none of Seamus Bradley’s injuries had been life threatening and had he received medical aid he would have lived.
This memorial is to commemorate Vol. Seamus Bradley just yards from where he fell. Vol. Seamus Bradley on the 2nd Battalion of B company Oglaigh Na H-Eireann, even though he was shot five times and beaten they could not make him betray his comrades.
I lived and loved and laboured with a patriot’s heart and will that the dawning years might make you fearless and unfettered still. When a future age shall find thee free men stand by thy side Mother Ireland o” remember me.
They may kill our bodies and take our blood but they will never break our spirits. Vol. Seamus Bradley. The war is not over until Ireland is free.”
“In memory of Vol. Denver Smith, murdered by cowards 1st January 2000. Here lies a soldier. He gave his life whilst serving his community. Lest we forget.” Smith was killed by a gang of six men with machetes and pikes; the incident was perhaps drugs-related (Guardian | BBC-NI. For the wider picture An Phoblacht | Irish Times).
The mural originally appeared with seven plaques, then with three plaques, and now with graveside mourners on either side of a single stone, and a bench and three flag-poles to the right.
The UVF flag is between the the Denver Smith and All Gave Some gables.
A board to slain UVF/RHC members John Hanna (died 1991-09-10), Stevie McCrea (1989-02-18) and Sammy Mehaffy (1991-11-13), with poppies and image of WWI soldiers.
“Remembering our brother’s lost lives and the human cost of conflict, the legacy of lost hopes and dreams. We come not to mourn but to praise their memory. We keep the memory of the brave, the faithful and the few, some lie far off beyond the waves, some sleep in Ulster too. All are gone but still live on the names of those who died, and true men like you, remember them with pride.”
“36th ulster division, for they shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old, age shall not weary them nor the years condemn, at the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them.”
“I ndil chuimhne ar óglaigh Brendan Convery [and] Gerard Mallon, Irish National Liberation Army, a fuair bás ar son saoirse 13ú Lúnasa 1983. Erected by the Irish Republican Socialist Ex-Prisoners Memorial Committee.” The pair were shot during an attack on an RUC checkpoint in Dungannon (Sutton | IRSP).
“In memory of Thomas (Tom) McDonald, murdered aged 15, 4th September 2001. Also William James (Jimmy) Frazer, murdered aged 12, 14th July 1989. Gone but not forgotten.” McDonald was pursued and knocked off his bike by a driver at whose car he had thrown a brick (Irish Times). Frazer (aged 42) was beaten, along with a friend, by three men from Bawnmore and died of his injuries five days later (Lost Lives 3046).
For the anniversary of his death, a poster of Volunteer Eamonn Lafferty is placed alongside the ogham stone and dolmen to the 1st battalion, Derry Brigade, IRA. Lafferty was killed on August 18th, 1971 – there are both a mural and a headstone to his memory in Kildrum Gardens.
“those brave and gallant vols of D Company IRA”, “POWs and volunteers”, “deceased POWs”, the D company volunteers who have “died of natural causes”, and the “civilians” who lost their lives. Some of these were seen before, in 2005’s Lower Falls Memorial Garden; the main addition is the large memorial with the illustrations, shown in the final image.
These are images from 2012 of the ‘My brother is not a criminal’ memorial in Ford’s Cross/Silverbridge, seen previously in 2006.
As the second image shows, earlier hunger strikers are also remembered: Thomas Ashe 1917, Michael Fitzgerald, Joseph Murphy, Terence McSwiney 1920, Joseph Whitty, Denis Barry, Andy Sullivan 1923, Tony Darcy, Sean McNeela 1940, Sean McCaughey 1946, Michael Gaughan 1974, Frank Stagg 1976.
The gallery of twelve hunger strikers in ‘Remember the hunger strikers’ is further up the road, towards Cullyhanna.