Final Salute To Derry Republican Socialist Volunteer
It has been reported in the media that veteran Irish Republican Socialist, Billy Browne, originally a member of the Official IRA and later an Irish National Liberation Army volunteer from Derry recently received a final armed salute over his coffin draped in the national and Starry Plough flags as a mark of respect to his involvement in the struggle for national liberation and socialism.
The Belfast Telegraph, stated that,
“The gunman emerged from within a crowd gathered outside the house in Mountain View in the Waterside and fired three single shots from an automatic weapon.
These were then followed by a burst of up to 20 rounds into the air.
The gunman, who was wearing a scarf over the lower part of his face and a hat, as well as gloves and military-style jumper and trousers, disappeared from the scene within moments.”
The ‘DerryNow’ publication added,
“According to local sources, the late Mr Browne, 59, had been a member of the IRA, before leaving to join the Official IRA and then the INLA. He served three prison sentences, one of which occurred during the so-called ‘Burning of the Cages’ in 1974 when republican prisoners set fire to the Long Kesh prison camp in protest against the conditions they were being held under.
Born in the Bridge Street area of Derry, Mr Browne was laid to rest following Requiem Mass at St Columb’s Church at Chapel Road on Thursday morning. During the funeral service, Fr Chris Ferguson described Mr Browne as a man of ‘strong beliefs’ politically who was a ‘republican and a socialist.’
Fr Ferguson also spoke of Mr Browne’s dedication to his partner, Shirley, and his family. Mr Browne was laid to rest in Ardmore cemetery following the service.”
It is quite clear that it was a fitting tribute to a committed anti-imperialist and socialist revolutionary.
Saoirse go deo!