UDR woman bereaved by Castlederg attack to talk

Norman McKinley (left) and Heather Kerrigan (right).
Norman McKinley (left) and Heather Kerrigan (right).

Irene Kerrigan, a Fermanagh-based member of the Victims and Survivors Forum (VSF) who served in the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) and Royal Irish Regiment (RIR) for 25 years, will be speaking at the latest Garden of Reflection lunchtime session in Bishop Street on Wednesday (November 19).

In March 1984, Irene’s brother-in-law Thomas was killed while off-duty and in July 1984, her husband, David, was injured in a bomb attack on his UDR patrol, which also claimed the life of his sister, Heather and their friend and colleague, Norman McKinley.

Heather and Norman were murdered when a landmine was exploded by republican terrorists near Castlederg. Irene, who lives is from Irvinestown, will share her very personal story of loss and survival, living through some of the darkest days of the Troubles, and coping as a family with post traumatic stress disorder. As part of this Lunchtime Event, Blue Eagle Productions will perform two short scenes from their most recent production, ‘Inconspicuous Gallantry.’

Set during the last 40 years of the Troubles, it poignantly explores different aspects of life for Tyrone based UDR men, women and families and gives a voice to these previously unheard and often demonised men and women. This week’s Lunchtime Event is brought in conjunction with Towards Understanding and Healing, who will facilitate the session. The event will take place from 12.30pm to 2pm.