REPUBLICANS from across County Antrim joined the Carey family to commemorate the 17th Anniversary of the death of Volunteer Malachy Carey, Oglaigh na hEireann at Loughgiel last Sunday.
Presiding over the commemoration, Eamonn McBride, Vice Chair of the Malachy Carey Sinn Fin Cumann, spoke with affection of his friend and comrade, whom he described as "a true Irishman, who gave his life for his country."
Those who remembered Malachy Carey recalled the many sacrifices which he made from he was first incarcerated in Crumlin Road Gaol, in 1977, at the age of 21. After sentencing the following year, he joined the blanket protest on which he remained until it ended following the cessation of the second hunger strike, in 1981.
Mr. Carey spent 18 months sharing a cell with Bobby Sands, during a crucial stage in the protest for political status, which spanned both hunger strikes. He was an important member of Bobby Sands’ team, in what were demanding and challenging times. Nicknamed "The Suitcase," at one time he carried a comb, four Parker pens, a camera, 27 comms (communications) and part of an Irish grammar book, hidden inside his body, according to a fellow prisoner.
Released from prison in 1987, after 10 years, he immediately reported back for duty to the IRA. He stood for Sinn Fin in the local government elections, later that year, polling strongly in Loughgiel, his native village.
On December 12th 1992, Mr. Carey was gunned down in Ballymoney by a loyalist murder squad, at the age of 36.
Wreaths were laid in honour of Malachy's memory, by the Carey family, the Malachy Carey Cumann and the North & East Antrim Comhairle Ceantair, Sinn Fin.