Aughakillymaude is the birthplace of Betty Monaghan. She married Louis Leonard in 1972 and the couple set up a butchering business in Derrylin. On 16 December of that year her husband was shot dead at their shop. Their son Tony was 4 months old at this time. In recalling her husband’s murder, Betty remembers that she was working late in the evening delivering turkeys, and when she returned Louis was missing. His brother Hugh found his body in the shop the following day. She recalls the large funeral, during which there was no paramilitary display. Betty describes her life in the aftermath of this tragedy as she ran the business and cared for their child. She explains that she never wished to be regarded as a victim, or to be known only as the widow of an IRA man. From 1968, both she and her husband had been supporters of equal civil rights for all in Northern Ireland, and she explains that it was a natural progression for Louis to become a member of the IRA. Betty is proud of the monument which was erected in her husband’s memory, and is also proud of his involvement in the GAA. In 1978, Betty retired from the business and trained as a teacher of business studies. She is now involved in reconciliation of communities in Northern Ireland.
Recordings available via Cavan Co. Library Service