Derry City Cemetery - victims of the Troubles
One of the first casualties in Derry of the period known as the Troubles occurred in July 1969. Sammy Devenny was sitting in his living room watching television when some youths, being pursued by the RUC (Northern Ireland police), ran in his front door and out the back. The RUC entered his home and beat him to death in front of his wife and children. This was to inflame tensions which resulted in the Battle of the Bogside one month later.
Manus Deery, was killed by a bullet fired from a British soldier. It occurred in the parking lot of the Bogside Inn. There is a plaque on the wall of the inn to Manus’ memory.
Ranger William Best was a native of the Bogside and had enlisted in the British military.
Home on leave less than 4 months after the British killed 13 people on Bloody Sunday and two days after Manus Deery was killed, he was abducted by the IRA and executed in the parking lot of the Bogside Inn. This act caused some consternation within the Bogside community and forced the IRA to agree to a ceasefire. This ceasefire was broken by the British two months later when they embarked on an invasion of the Bogside known as Operation Motorman. Ironically his grave is right next to Manus Deery’s. To have their graves side by side demonstrates the ambiguity of the entire Troubles period.
There are many others - far to numerous to name - such as Annette McGavigan (the subject of one of the murals) and Kathleen Thompson who was killed in her backyard tending to her garden.