‘ The one thing she insisted on was that nobody would try to take revenge for the loss of her sons – Eugene Reavey
A SOUTH Armagh woman whose three sons were shot dead by loyalists during the Troubles has been described as an “inspiration” after she passed away eearlier this week. Sadie Reavey died peacefully in Daisy Hill hospital overnight on Monday surrounded by members of her family.
Three of Mrs Reavey’s sons, John (24), Brian (22) and Anthony (17), died after being shot by loyalists during an ambush on their White cross home in 1976. The murders were committed by the notorious loyalist the Glenanne Gang, which included members of the UVF, UDR and RUC. No-one has ever been charged in connection with the murders. Mrs Reavey suffered more heartache when her husband Jimmy died prematurely in 1981. There was yet more tragedy for the south Armagh woman in 1994 when her daughter Una McKenna died after losing a battle with cancer aged just 31. Mrs Reavey’s son Eugene last night said his mother always carried her grief with dignity. “She was a very strong person and a lot of people got a lot of inspiration from her over the years,” he said. “The one thing she insisted on was that nobody would try to take revenge for the loss of her sons.” Mr Reavey described his mother as a “descent woman” who was “well thought of” by neighbours and friends.
“Her life was a life well lived. She had a very strong faith and she would have prayed all day and all night,” he said. “That’s what got her through all those bad times.”She went to help other people to deal with her own ccommunity.” Former deputy first minister Seamus Mall on knew Mrs Reavey for many years. “She was a remarkably fine woman who withstood the agony of the murder of her three sons,” he said. “She always showed dignity and herself and her husband Jimmy were an example to the entire community in the way in which they dealt with the murder of their three sons.” Mr MMall on said Mrs Reavey was an example to others. “She was a tolerant woman and a person in the community that people admired respected and loved.” Earlier this year Mrs Reavey was visited in her home by shadow secretary of state Vernon Croaker. Mr Croaker also meet 90-year-old Mary O’Hare, whose daughter MA Ella was shot dead by British soldiers near Whitecross as she made her way to church in 1976. After the meeting Mr Croaker said both woman had handled their “grief with great dignity and compassion”. Requiem Mass for Mrs Reavey will be celebrated at St Brigids‘s Church, Whitecross, at 11am tommorow.
With many thanks to : Connla Young, The Irish News.
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