Ógra Shinn Féin Lead Commemoration for Charlie 'Cha' Love
Published: 26 January, 2010
Republicans gathered in Strabane on Sunday 24th January to commemorate Charlie 'Cha' Love.
Charlie was 16 years old when he was killed in a tragic accident in Derry during the Bloody Sunday commemoration of January 1990. It was a tragedy that sent shockwaves through the Republican movement and the wider Strabane community.
Charlie was a committed political activist, member of Republican youth, and unwavering supporter of Sinn Féin and the IRA's armed campaign. The kind of political activity that Republican Youth were involved in at the time resembled the work carried out by the present day Republican youth movement, Ógra Shinn Féin.
Even everyday tasks that young Charlie would have been involved in at this time such as erecting flags for commemorations, attracted the hostile attention of the British army and RUC. Charlie and his young comrades would have been constantly harassed for carrying out their political work, yet he remained a proud, unbowed and committed young republican.
A large crowd, led by an Ógra Shinn Fein Colour Party, made its way from Drumrallagh Estate to Townsend Street. The location of the monument is situated on the site where the Love family home used to stand. A statement was read on behalf the Love family by Paddy Jack and Bloody Sunday Representative Tony Doherty sent solidarity greetings from the Bloody Sunday Committee.
Speaking after the event, Strabane Ógra Shinn Féin activist Patrick Breslin said,
"Ógra Shinn Féin were extremely proud and honored to lead the commemoration for this brave and selfless young republican. It was great to see so many people, particularly young people come out to remember Cha today. Those in attendance were from all walks of life, some were close friends and comrades of Cha, others never knew him and some weren't even born at the time of his death."
"All those gathered had one thing in common, they where there to stand in solidarity with the Love family in their ongoing loss, and because they shared Cha's desire for Irish freedom. Whilst the monument serves to remember Cha and the sacrifices he paid, the only fitting tribute we can truly pay to him is achieving Irish freedom and the establishment of a Republic as outlined in the proclamation. We in Ógra Shinn Fein will play our part, to ensure these national rights are realized."