Tuesday, 6 August 2019

ON THIS DAY IN 1985, CORBYN'S MATES...

The Provisional IRA tried to fire a home-made grenade launcher at a police Land Rover in Londonderry.  The device jammed and then exploded, killing one terrorist and badly injuring the second.  The attempted attack took place at around 10am as the RUC vehicle turned into William Street.  Two passers-by reportedly took the injured terrorists to hospital, but were stopped at the entrance by police who then escorted them to the emergency department by which time 21-year-old Charles English was already dead.

The injured terrorist was Eddie McSheffrey.  He was killed two years later in another explosion, when he and an accomplice were blown up by their own bomb.  Charles English came from the republican Bogside area of the city and was motivated to join the IRA in part by the death of his brother in 1981.  James English was struck and killed by an army Land Rover during rioting.

The funeral of Charles English was preceded by rioting in which soldiers and police were attacked with stones and petrol bombs near 'Free Derry Corner'.  Three masked gunman fired dozens of shots over English's coffin which was later carried into City Cemetary by Martin McGuinness, among others.  A senior figure from NORAID also attended the funeral despite being banned from entering the country.  Martin Galvin slipped into Northern Ireland from the Republic reportedly disguised in a cap and glasses.  NORAID was a US-based group primarily involved in fundraising for the Provisional IRA.

Martin McGuinness carries the coffin containing the dead terrorist