Sunday April 16, will see the greater Armagh area host an important church event sure to attract participants and visitors from across the Province.
Each April the Ulster Special Constabulary Association organise the occasion to remember the service and sacrifice of the force, the host area rotated between the many branches of the Association.
This year that honour falls upon the men and women of its South Armagh Branch, who have chosen the picturesque setting of Druminnis Presbyterian Church nestled between Hamiltonsbawn and Armagh City for the 2023 proceedings.
Speaking about the event, Branch Secretary Quincey Dougan explained why Druminnis was selected.
“Several recently held events looking at the history of the Ulster Specials in County Armagh, identified many of its Constables murdered during the troubles of the 1920’s,” said Mr Dougan.
“One such victim, John Megarity, is buried in the Druminnis Graveyard. John’s life and death is tragically almost totally forgotten, and the members felt this was an opportunity to right that wrong.”
Special Constable John Megarity was the youngest of seven children of Samuel and Agnes Megarity in the townland of Edenknappagh.
It is not known when, but he enlisted in the new U.S.C. as a full time officer within its ‘A’ Category, and by early 1922 the 22 year old Constable Megarity was serving with the Specials in its Court Street Platoon in Belfast, based in Court Street Barracks.
On May 28 the young constable was helping a police party search for evidence in McDonnell Street off the Falls Road, when he was shot twice by a sniper. He died instantly from his wounds. At the upcoming service, the Association will mark John’s life with a short act of Remembrance at his graveside following the main service.
The Ulster Special Constabulary Association annual church service will take place on Sunday April 16, at Druminnis Presbyterian Church.
A short procession will take place from the rear of the Church at 3:15pm, with musical accompaniment kindly led by Aughnagurgan Accordion Band, Newtownhamilton, with service proper starting at 3.30pm.
All organisations who share the ethos of the Specials are welcome to attend, and if they desire, are welcome to participate in the short procession.
This invitation goes out to all ex-service organisations, Royal British Legion, youth organisation and Loyal Orders. The U.S.C.A. colour party, officers and members will lead the parade.
After the service the Act of Remembrance will be followed by a return procession, and tea will be served in the Church Hall. For more information about the event, you can contact South Armagh Branch Secretary Quincey Dougan at 0783562441 or email email@example.com