Emmanuel "Matt" McLarnon: Fallen Comrade of the IRSM
- Fallen Comrade of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement
Emmanuel "Matt" McLarnon
Volunteer - Irish National Liberation Army
Killed in Action on 12 May 1981
Emmanuel "Matt" McLarnon was 21 years old when he was shot by a
British Army sniper from an observation post in West Belfast's Divis
On active service at the time of his death, he fired on British
soldiers just hours after it was announced that Provisional Irish
Republican Army Volunteer Francis Hughes had died on hunger strike.
McLarnon was acquainted with Hughes from when the two men served time
together in a British jail.
McLarnon died on the way to the Royal Victoria Hospital after the
ambulance was deliberately held up at a British Army checkpoint even
though the soldiers knew there was a severely wounded man inside.
After his funeral Mass, six INLA volunteers stepped out of a doorway
at St. Peter's Catholic Church and fired three volleys of shots into
the air in tribute to their fallen comrade. Crowds gathered to pay
their final respects as his funeral procession made its way to
He joined the INLA in 1976. In 1979, he was briefly imprisoned in
Belfast's Crumlin Road Jail (where he met Hughes) after he was
arrested on charges of possessing two pistols and a grenade.
At the time of his death, he was married with one child, and his
wife Rose was expecting a second child.
A memorial to McLarnon and other comrades was unveiled in the Lower
Falls area of West Belfast on 10 April 2003.
He died as he lived: a Republican Socialist. Remember him with honour