Audrey Hassard grew up in Church Hill, Co. Fermanagh where her father, William, worked as a building contractor. The family relocated to another house on their land in 1972, and the old family home was then occupied by John McClure and his young family, who had been driven by intimidation from their previous home on the Border at Garrison. Audrey describes an evening in August 1988, when her father and his work colleague, Fred Love, were travelling home, having carried out repairs on the UDR buildings in Belleek. They were ambushed by IRA paramilitaries and shot dead. She describes the devastation visited on her family and that of Fred Love, and also mentions the fact that she was later told that celebratory gunfire was heard in Bundoran on the night of the murders. In March 2002, Sinn Fein/IRA erected a stone monument in memory of three IRA members who had been shot during the Troubles. It was situated just twelve feet from where William Hassard and Fred Love had been shot in August 1988. The Hassard family strongly objected to this and continued to protest over the following years until, in 2007, the monument was finally removed. Audrey also details an event which occurred prior to her marriage to Robert Ovens, who was farming with his father in Drumbad. The IRA had attached an incendiary device to their tractor with the intention of killing either man, but due to a strong wind which sprang up during the night, the device exploded, destroying the vehicle with no loss of life.
This collection, carried out by Irish Life and Lore on behalf of Cavan County Library Service, is funded by the EU Special EU Programmes Body Peace IV fund under the objective to build positive relations with people from different backgrounds and communities to support peace and reconciliation.
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