Sunday, 21 July 2019

ON THIS DAY IN 1981, CORBYN'S MATES...

The Provisional IRA shot dead a Protestant man in Maghera, Co Londonderry.  43-year-old John Hazlett, a local handyman, was killed outside a shop in Bank Square that he was helping to renovate.  Neighbours told reporters that Mr Hazlett was not politically active and the police said there was no obvious motive for the IRA to have killed him.  An IRA statement said that Mr Hazlett's murder was "an accident due to mistaken identity".  This led to the suggestion that the terrorists had intended to kill another man that had been working at the shop, a former part-time member of the Ulster Defence Regiment, although this was never proven.

The IRA statement was condemned at Mr Hazlett's funeral.

"Such a dastardly deed as has taken place can never be excused, even by someone making the profound observation 'We have made a mistake'.  Friends, some mistakes are so permanent and so final that they cannot be rectified.  Apologies cannot exchange the coffin for the chair, they cannot give sparkle to a tear-dimmed eye, nor bring joy to a desolate and broken-hearted family".
Presbyterian minister at John Hazlett's funeral

John Hazlett was survived by his wife and two children.