Josephine Murray was born into a small farming family at Derrykenny on the outskirts of Newtownbutler and was one of six siblings, all of whom were reared by their mother in impoverished circumstances. Josephine’s brother, Andrew, worked on the neighbouring Naan family farm at Aughinahinch near Newtownbutler. On 23 October 1972, Andrew and Michael Naan were stabbed to death on the farm in what was thought to be a reprisal for the killing of UDR member John Bell the previous day. Josephine was nursing in Chester in England at that time, and she recalls receiving the terrible news and being unable to contact the family as there was no telephone in the house. She also recalls that her mother Mary learned of her son’s death in a radio news report, prior to being informed by the authorities. Years later it became clear that the murderers of Andrew Murray and Michael Naan were members of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. Josephine’s sister had served tea to members of that regiment on the day following the murders, when they called to Crom Castle in Newtownbutler. Josephine describes the trauma she suffered as a result of the killings and its effect on her life thereafter and of her mother, who suffered in silence until the day of her death.
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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