6721Joe Craven: Fallen Comrade of the IRSM
- Dec 5, 2012Fallen Comrade of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement
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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