Leitrim Observer
22 Apr 2012

Gerry Downing, Secretary of the Irish Political Prisoners Support Group and Fionnbarra O’Dochartaigh (centre) presenting Civil Rights memorabilia to Terry Gavin McWeeney.

A Carrick native was honoured at a reception held by the Irish Republican Prisoners Support group in Edgware, London earlier this month.

Terry Gavin McWeeney, now an octogenarian has been a life long activist and became well known in England and beyond for her efforts on behalf of political prisoners and their families.

Terry Gavin was born and reared in the county town before she left for England at age 19. Her father is buried in Jamestown.

During such humanitarian activity she became a close associate of Sister Sarah Clarke, who befriended Irish prisoners such as Giuseppe Conlon and his son, Frank Stagg, Michael Gaughan and many others, never visiting them empty-handed. The event was compared by Gerry Downing, Secretary of the IRPSG, whose Treasurer, Michael Holden, read out message of support for Terry from several political prisoners on both sides of the border who paid tribute to her life as a campaigner for Irish political prisoners since she came to England from Carrick-on-Shannon as a young woman of 19 in 1950.

The large attendance was addressed by the Bogside-born author and historian, Fionnbarra O’Dochartaigh, who was a co-founder of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association in Belfast, in 1967. After delivering his address, referring to Mrs. McWeeney as a “long-standing friend to all political prisoners, especially her fellow countrymen and women”, he presented her with the recently produced ‘Oak-leaf’ civil rights flag, 1968 badges and Oct. 5th poster, a NICRA commemorative DVD, and the Bloody Sunday 40th anniversary single, “Vindicated”, complied by Derry song-writer, Tony O’Doherty.

Thanks are extended to the landlord Phil Parsons, the DJ who played all the rebel songs and especially to the group of musicians who rounded off the evening with the traditional ‘session’.