The McManus family farmed in Kinawley for many generations. Dessie McManus recalls his earliest memories of attending civil rights marches in Enniskillen, which he says heightened Republican sympathies. He recalls Bloody Sunday and watching the aftermath on television with his parents, and the arrival of the British army locally when a helicopter landed close to his school. The fortification of the RUC Barracks in Kinawley is also described. He recalls occasions when the McManus home was targeted and raided at 6am by the security forces. In 1981 he left college in Derry to join the Hunger Strike marches and, around the same time, took over his father’s public house business in Swanlinbar. During this time, six of the seven roads leading to Swanlinbar were impassable. In 1981, a major fortified checkpoint was erected at Mullan. Dessie recalls an occasion when he suffered a severe beating by British paratroopers at the checkpoint and speaks of the ensuing court case in which the perpetrators were convicted, marking the first conviction in such circumstances.
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