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Tree planted in memory of slain Irish republicans in Derry

TRIBUTES were paid to two IRA men on the 40th anniversary of their killing in the Creggan area of Derry today.

A tree was planted in memory of George McBrearty and Charles “Pop” Maguire along with hunger strikers who died in prison in 1981.

They were shot dead by undercover British soldiers at the height of the hunger strikes, just a week after the deaths of Patsy O’Hara and Raymond McCreesh.

“This is the 40th anniversary of my son Volunteer George McBrearty and my son Pat’s 30th anniversary,” 91-year-old Bridie McBrearty said.

The tree, named Crann na Poblachta (Tree of the Republic), represents “all those who have passed, those on rolls of honour, those many prisoners who have gone too soon, and the many people who contributed to our struggle in any way throughout the years,” she said.

Ms McBrearty hopes the tree, which was planted next to the George McBrearty mural at the junction of Rathkeele Way and Rathlin Drive, will become a focal point of remembrance for people of all backgrounds and affiliations.

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