Sinn Féin Councillor Kevin Campbell has urged people in Derry to attend a commemoration on Saturday to remember IRA Volunteer Tom Williams who was hanged in Crumlin Road Gaol 75 years ago this weekend.
Councillor Campbell said
“Seventy-five years ago this weekend on the 2nd September 1942, Óglach Tom Williams, at the age of 19, faced his execution in Crumlin Road Gaol.
Tom, along with his IRA unit, had been imprisoned following the killing of an RUC man. The six man unit, all below the age of 21, were convicted & sentenced to death by hanging.
However, the collective punishment of the unit was eventually overturned as a result of Tom making an admission to being the leader of the men & accepting full responsibility for the actions of the unit which had resulted in the death of the RUC man.
The five IRA volunteers that had been imprisoned alongside Tom received lengthy sentences, however avoided capital punishment.
Tom, alone, would ultimately face his executor.
Prior to his hanging, he, inscribed some messages on the backs of playing cards that he had with him in his cell.
On one he wrote; ‘To whoever receives this, pray for me always & pray for the cause for which I am dying. God save Ireland.’
It’s important that all these years later we remember Tom and the ultimate sacrifice he made and I would encourage as many people as possible to come along on this Saturday at 1pm to Free Derry Wall.