The McGovern family had a grocery business in Swanlinbar, which was set up by Gregory McGovern’s father, and in the early 1980s a post office and telephone exchange was established on the premises. Gregory remembers the occasion in 1983 when a BBC reporter, Nicholas Mitchell, came to their kiosk in Swanlinbar to attempt to get a message to his employers about the Don Tidey kidnapping. He also recalls the kidnapping by the IRA of a well-known local bachelor, P. McGovern. He was missing for three days and subsequently was unable to recover from his ordeal. Gregory recounts the violence and damage to property in Swanlinbar during the years of the Troubles, describing in detail the eight explosions which occurred there. He also discusses the major disturbance to business in the town due to the blockage of nearby roads. This situation persisted for twenty years and the results can still be felt today. The community remained steadfast, he says, and emphasises the work undertaken by the local GAA, which he says was instrumental in maintaining that community spirit.
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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