Saturday, February 24, 2024

Victims’ organization marks 30th anniversary of soldier’s death at Crossmaglen

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On this day in 1993, Guardsman Daniel Blinco of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards was killed in the village of Co Armagh.

The 22-year-old was on foot patrol in Crossmaglen, County Armagh, when he was shot by a sniper.

His death was the first in Northern Ireland since the Downing Street Declaration, a “charter for peace and reconciliation” issued by Prime Minister John Major and Irish Prime Minister Albert Reynolds two weeks ago.

This was a joint peace initiative, pledging to “explore a mutually agreeable political structure between Northern Ireland and the islands”.

He was also the last soldier to be killed by a sniper in south Armagh before the first IRA ceasefire in 1994.

In 2013, on the eve of Remembrance Sunday, a Grenadier Guard marched through Mr Blinko’s hometown of Melbourne, Derbyshire, in honor of his death.

A bench in Melbourne Hall was also once again dedicated to him as part of the ceremony.

Guard Blinco’s sister, Joanna Swain, told the BBC: “It’s amazing that Daniel hasn’t been forgotten. It’s unbelievable to be honest.”

His mother Nina Brinko added:

“Daniel would have loved every moment of it.”

Daniel Blinco is remembered on SEFF’s commemorative quilt.

South East Fermanagh Foundation (SEFF) board member Kenny Donaldson, from Crossmaglen, said: Grenadier Guards.

“That day I was in the village with my father, just round the corner from Murtagh’s pub, where Danny was murdered. I was 13 years old.

“He was murdered just two weeks after John Major and Albert Reynolds signed the Danny Street Declaration, and the political path was set in motion, but the bloodthirsty Provisionals decided to take Danny’s life and… We have decided that it is appropriate to extinguish even more lives over the next 20 years.”

“It is important that young people like Danny are remembered and their contribution should never be forgotten.”

Daniel Blinko is remembered on SEFF’s commemorative quilt — Terrorism Knows No Borders.



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