Aidan McAnespie 25th Anniversary Candle Lit Vigil

The 21st of February marked the 25th anniversary of the murder of my cousin Aidan McAnespie. After years of intimidation and harassment from the British Army towards Aidan and his family, a member of the British security forces saw his opportunity from a watchtower and shot Aidan in the back from a distance of 300 meters as he walked alone to Aghaloo gaelic grounds carrying nothing but his football gear………it was a dark day for the family and for the GAA community as a whole.

Thursday night saw the first event to remember the 25 years since Aidan’s murder. A massive crowd gathered at Cornation Park, Aughnacloy and walked the route that Aidan walked to the spot where he died…. thankfully the border checkpoint has since been removed and we now live in more peaceful times.

Below are a few photos from the candle lit walk and guest speaker on the night, Peter Canavan.

Aidan McAnespie 25th anniversary vigil, Aughnacloy Co Tyrone

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Aidan's sister Margo and father John hold their torches.

Aidan’s sister Margo and father John hold their torches.

 

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A piper leads the large crowd from Cornation Park, Aughnacloy to the spot Aidan was shot.

 

The crowd makes its way past the part of the road where the checkpoint once stood.

The crowd makes its way past the part of the road where the checkpoint once stood.

 

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A massive turned out to remember the 25th anniversary of Aidan’s death.

 

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The crowd approach the spot where Aidan was shot.

 

Aidan's father John McAnespie.

Aidan’s father John McAnespie.

 

Aidan's brother Vincent McAnespie.

Aidan’s brother Vincent McAnespie.

 

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Flowers are laid in memory of Aidan.

Flowers are laid in memory of Aidan.

 

Flowers are laid in memory of Aidan.

 

Aidan's friend Mickey Muldoon lays a wreath on behalf of Aghaloo GFC.

Aidan’s friend Mickey Muldoon lays a wreath on behalf of Aghaloo GFC.

 

John McAnespie lays a wreath.

John McAnespie lays a wreath.

 

Aidan's brother Sean lays a wreath on behalf of Aidan McAnespie GFC, Boston, USA.

Aidan’s brother Sean lays a wreath on behalf of Aidan McAnespie GFC, Boston, USA.

 

Gerry Cunningham and Pat Casey sing 'The Ballad of Aidan McAnespie' composed by Gerry 20 years ago.

Gerry Cunningham and Pat Casey sing ‘The Ballad of Aidan McAnespie’ composed by Gerry 20 years ago.

 

Aidan's brother Gerry McAnespie.

Aidan’s brother Gerry McAnespie.

 

Guest speaker Peter Canavan speaks about how the troubles affected GAA in Northern Ireland and the impact of Aidan's death in Tyrone and further afield.

Guest speaker Peter Canavan speaks about how the troubles affected GAA in Northern Ireland and the impact of Aidan’s death in Tyrone and further afield.

 

Aidan McAnespie 25 anniversary shooting

 

Peter Canavan Aidan McAnespie Co Tyrone GAA

 

Peter Canavan Aidan McAnespie Co Tyrone GAA

 

Vincent McAnespie Aughnacloy Co Tyrone

 

 

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5 Comments

  1. Posted 22/02/2013 at 7:10 pm by BREIGE KERR | Permalink

    Thanks for posting these Damien…we were thinking of John and all the Mc Anespie family this week.Cant believe its 25 years.Amazing how much Gerry looks like Cathal,Fergal and Dermot in that close up photo.

    • Posted 22/02/2013 at 7:18 pm by Damien | Permalink

      Time is going very quick Breige, it was a gorgeous night and the turnout was great – hope to get more photos tomorrow at the memorial game. The men are all definitely cast in a McAnespie mould!

  2. Posted 22/02/2013 at 7:25 pm by Lynne Mc Nasby | Permalink

    Damien,
    Thanks so much for taking these wonderful pictures to comomorate the life and death of Aidan.

  3. Posted 22/02/2013 at 8:25 pm by Deirdrá Cathal Gorml | Permalink

    Damien
    As always magnificent pictures you captured the mood brilliantly. Thoughts and prayers with John and all the family.

  4. Posted 22/02/2013 at 11:11 pm by Colette Edwards | Permalink

    Great picture of the lady with the child close-up – beautifully lit by the candle.

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