A Derry man has donated a memorial card of the first IRA volunteer killed in the city to the Museum of Free Derry.
Sunday marked the 48th anniversary of Eamonn Lafferty, who was killed by the British army in 1971, when he was 19-years-old.
Sean Friel, whose father held the memorial card until he died in 1982, has kept it with him ever since.
There is a photo of a young Eamonn Lafferty inside which says he was Operating Commander (O.C.) of the 1st Battalion of the Derry City Brigade (Provisional).
Alongside his photo is a poem by Patrick Pearse, one of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising, who was also an Irish teacher, barrister, poet and writer.
It reads: "Mother Ireland I have loved thee, With a love that knew not fear,
"I have drawn a sword to free thee, At the flowering of the year,
"But a hand was raised to smite me, As I stooped to kiss thy brow,
"And the arm that would have freed thee,
"By my side hangs helpless now".
Sean carried the card with him for 37 years. He said: "It has been to Australia, England, France and I don't know how many times across the Atlantic. Everywhere I've been, it's been with me.
"We're back home for good now and I want to find a permanent home for the memorial card. I thought it could be displayed in the Muesum of Free Derry."
Adrian Kerr, manager at the Museum of Free Derry, expressed an interest in displaying the memorial card alongside other items that tell Eamonn Lafferty's story.
After almost four decades in his possession, Sean arranged to hand over the keepsake on Tuesday. He was greeted by the museum’s Education Officer, John Kelly, whose brother Michael was killed on Bloody Sunday.
At the weekend, Sinn Féin unveiled a new mural dedicated to Eamonn Lafferty during their annual wreath laying ceremony. The artwork is situated at Kildrum Gardens, at the very spot where Eamonn was shot dead.
A wreath-laying ceremony marked the 48th anniversary of the IRA man’s death. Eamonn Lafferty (19) was shot dead at Kildrum Gardens in the Creggan area of the city in the early hours of 18 August, 1971.
He was one of a number of IRA members who had been engaged in a gun battle with British soldiers on Southway and was the first IRA volunteer to be killed by troops in the city.
On that day in 1971 the British Army attempted to come into Creggan up Southway, a heavy gun battle ensued between British soldiers and IRA Volunteers. During this battle Eamonn was shot and subsequently died from his injuries.
Local Sinn Féin Councillor Tina Burke said: “This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of the Bogside. In 1969 young men and women took to the streets of Derry and began the final battle for Justice, Equality and Freedom.
“In the intervening years many have given their lives for that continuing struggle as Volunteers in the Derry Brigade Óglaigh Na hÉireann.
“Sunday marked the 48th Anniversary of the death of IRA Volunteer Eamonn Lafferty.
“Today as part of the annual wreath ceremony which is held each year in his memory a new mural was unveiled."
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