Funds plea for memorial plan

An ambitious plan, spearheaded by a Waringstown man, to erect a permanent memorial to security forces personnel killed during the Troubles has issued a plea for help.

Impressions of what the Armagh memorial wall may look like
Impressions of what the Armagh memorial wall may look like
Impressions of what the Armagh memorial wall may look like

The Co Armagh Phoenix Group raised £39,000 towards the £80,000 cost of erecting a special wall in the grounds of St Mark’s Church in Armagh.

It has taken the group more than five years to secure planning permission for the project, which if completed will serve as a tribute to the 350 men and women from Co Armagh killed while serving in the RUC, UDR and Prison Service.

The Phoenix Group charity was formed in 2007 to support ex-members of the security services and their families who were victims of terrorism in Armagh.

The group has more than 800 members drawn from Co Armagh RUC GC, police welfare associations from Lurgan and Newry and Mourne, and Armagh 2 UDR Association, the Armagh Association Voluntary Welfare Group, the Association of Retired Prison Officers and Richhill Royal British Legion.

Ronnie Quigg from Waringstown, who served in the RUC for 35 years and who is chair of the memorial fundraising group, said: “With so many illegal memorials being erected in Lurgan and south Armagh, we decided it would be nice to have a legal one to mark the sacrifice of security force personnel.

“Armagh had a higher percentage rate per population killed than anywhere else, and we felt that we needed something to remember people with.

“The wall will contain the names of all security forces personnel who were murdered in County Armagh or who were born in County Armagh and murdered elsewhere during periods of trouble right from the formation of NI in 1922 until the end of Operation Banner in 2007.

“We have raised £41,000 and we know that the next £39,000 is going to be the hardest, so we really need the public to get behind us and help us raise this money.”