ON JUNE 17TH 1922, THERE TOOK PLACE IN THE TOWN LAND OF ALTNAVEIGH, a blood-thirsty massacre of defenceless Protestant people, as the Roman Catholic, Irish Republican Army sought to strangle at birth the new State of Northern Ireland, by these and other acts of genocide. As it is vital that our people, especially our young folk, remember the fact s of hi story and what fate would await us in a Roman Catholic-dominated, all-Ireland statelet, we issue this the first in a series of “Lest We Forget” pamphlets.
Newspapers of that time reported the massacre with the following headlines:-
“RED DAWN NEAR NEWRY”
“BOMB DROPS IN CRADLE”
“HOUSES BURNED TO THE GROUND”
“HARROWING STORIES TOLD BY SURVIVORS”
Rev. P. McKee who conducted the funeral services of the victims, had this to say:-
“From this congregation, a young lad, a man in the prime of life, and his wife have been done to death in ways that leave un-manifested no form of bestial cruelty and fiendish malice––the marauders have left us a bloody mile of roofless houses, and blood and fire on what was once a beautiful country road. I shall never forget the sights I saw, or the narratives told to me by the survivors. God give me strength to remember that lesson and to interpret it.—even in warfare there is a certain limit to atrocity, a certain code of honour is practised by all but the vilest savage.
In this, those who wrought Saturday’s deed of shame have no share––-When the victims asked their assassins, “What have we done?” they got the answer — “YOU ARE PROTESTANTS”.