03 November 2005

Memories still raw at Poyntzpass

Belfast Telegraph

By Michael McHugh in Poyntzpass
03 November 2005

Memories are still raw in the Co Armagh village of Poyntzpass seven years after two LVF gunmen burst into the Railway Bar and shot dead life-long friends Damien Trainor and Philip Allen.

Ballymoney DUP member Gary Blair has called for the killers, Stephen McClean and Noel McCready, to be released following the LVF's announcement to stand down at the weekend.

Mr Blair is a former prisoner who was released under the Good Friday Agreement after being jailed over the loyalist murder of a Sinn Fein election candidate.

His suggestion has been met with horror and opposition in Poyntzpass and beyond.

Bernadette Cavanagh, the owner of the Railway Bar, was working the night the shooting happened, said she had vivid memories of the carnage.

"You try to let it die but it is just something which you don't forget about. I would be opposed to them getting out of prison, I could never forgive them for what they did for no reason to two neighbours," Ms Canavan added.

The victims were Catholic and Protestant friends.

A cousin of Mr Allen, who was in the village at the time of the shooting, said: "Those two, McCready and McClean, got out of prison under the Agreement and got their chance and I think they should now serve their time."

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