This afternoon members of our group attended the unveiling of a new mural in the Rathcoole Estate, Co Antrim in remembrance of the Three Scottish Soldiers.
Today, March 10, marks 48 years since brothers John (17) and Joseph McCaig (18) from Ayr and Dougald McCaughey (23) from Glasgow, became the first soldiers killed while off duty during the Troubles.
All three were Privates serving with the 1st Battalion -The Royal Highland Fusiliers, stationed at Girdwood barracks in Belfast.
The three soldiers having been granted leave, had been enjoying a social drink together in Belfast City Centre, unarmed and in civilian clothing.
It is widely believed the young men were enticed by a number of Republican females with the promise of a party. They were taken to White Brae, North Belfast were they murdered by the Provisional IRA. The three had been shot at close range and were rumoured to be in a line. After failing to report back at 18:30 their bodies had been found by a group of children at 19:30.
The coroner at the time of the inquest into their murders in August 1971 commented: “You may think that this was not only murder, but one of the vilest crimes ever heard of in living memory”.
Sadly, two existing Memorials erected in memory of the soldiers have been attacked more than 25 times since 2010 by Republicans.
Well done to the organisers – Lest we forget.