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6721Joe Craven: Fallen Comrade of the IRSM

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  • Danielle Ni Dhighe
    Dec 5, 2012
      Fallen Comrade of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement

      Joe Craven
      Volunteer - Irish National Liberation Army
      Assassinated on 5 December 1983

      Joe Craven, age 25, was assassinated by an Ulster Volunteer Force
      (using the cover name Protestant Action Force) gunman who opened fire
      from a motorcycle, killing Craven and wounding his two brothers as
      they walked home from the Department of Health and Social Services
      office in Newtownabbey, County Antrim.

      At his funeral, the priest refused to accompany the coffin to Milltown
      Cemetery in West Belfast, where the INLA were to provide military

      The Royal Ulster Constabulary moved in, trying to prevent the display
      of a black beret and gloves atop the coffin outside the Craven home,
      and clashes occurred between the mourners and the RUC. The family
      refused to bring the coffin out until the RUC moved back. When the
      RUC finally moved away, the coffin was brought back out, but the RUC
      immediately moved in again. Two men were arrested in the subsequent

      The coffin was eventually carried away by mourners with the beret,
      gloves, and Starry Plough flag on top.

      A memorial to Craven was unveiled in the Bawnmore area of North
      Belfast on 9 December 2002.

      He died as he lived: as a Republican Socialist. Remember him with
      honour and pride.

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