Cappagh, County Tyrone
Coordinates: 54°32′34″N 6°55′33″W / 54.54278°N 6.92583°W Cappagh (Irish: Ceapach (tilled or cultivated land)) is a small village, townland and civil parish in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It is between Pomeroy, Ballygawley, Galbally and Carrickmore, with the hamlet of Galbally about one mile to the east. Most of the land around Cappagh is farmland although a quarry lies just outside the village.
Places of interest
- Cappagh Mountain - The village is located on a hillside and immediately behind it stands Cappagh Mountain (948 feet tall). The area around Cappagh has fine mountain scenery where the land is a mixture of rural pastures and bog. These bog and peat lands still provide turf for the older generation of the area.
- Travelling towards Altmore on the right hand side of the road is "King James's Well". Further on was once a small house that occupied some of the finest miniature model houses and castles in Northern Ireland.
- Cappagh Monument - In the middle of the village is a monument to local people who were killed by British security forces and paramilitaries during The Troubles. It features a stone figure of a Provisional IRA volunteer, in front of a number of stone plaques commemorating various aspects of the conflict, such as the hunger strike of 1981 and local Republican guerrillas who died. The focal point is the plaque for eight Provisional IRA members who died during gun and bomb attack on Loughgall Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) base, and are referred as the "Loughgall Martyrs" by locals and supporters.
The Troubles in Cappagh
At least 10 people in and around Cappagh lost their lives during the Troubles, according to CAIN website. Three were members of the Provisional IRA, three were members of the RUC, two Catholic civilians, one former member of the UDR, and a Protestant civilian. The three IRA volunteers and one of the Catholic residents were killed by the Ulster Volunteer Force in a shooting outside a local bar on 3 March 1991. Another Catholic civilian had been shot and killed in the same spot in January 1974 by loyalist assailants. The rest of the victims were killed by members of the Provisional IRA.
The village, reputed as being a republican stronghold, was also the scene of another two significant events in the early 1990s. On 24 March 1990, there was a gunbattle between an IRA unit and undercover British security forces when a civilian-type vehicle driven by an undercover agent was fired on by IRA volunteers without warning, according to Archie Hamilton, then Secretary of State for Defence. Republican media claimed a SAS ambush was thwarted and at least two undercover soldiers in the car were killed. but Hamilton claimed there were no security or civilian casualties.
Another major incident, at least for its consequences, took place on 12 May 1992, when a patrol of British paratroopers was ambushed with an anti-personnel device by the IRA in Cappagh. One soldier lost both legs. The attack sparked the reaction of the paratroopers, which sealed off the nearby town of Coalisland and clashed with the local population on 12 and 17 May 1992. The RUC alleged that a light machine gun stolen during the incidents was later recovered precisely at Cappagh, as part of a weapons cache. This series of incidents led to the suspension of patrols before the official end of the battalion's deployment and to the dissmisal of the Third Brigade's commander, Brigadier Tom Longland.
- Thomas Mellon: US industrialist born at Camp Hill Cottage, Lower Castletown, Cappagh
- Robert Patterson: US soldier and industrialist
- Martin Hurson: PIRA volunteer; died on the 1981 Hunger Strike in HM Prison Maze
- List of townlands of County Tyrone
- List of civil parishes of County Tyrone
- Gortavoy Bridge
- "Cappagh". Place Names NI. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
- IRA memorial (Cappagh), cain.ulst.ac.uk; accessed 7 November 2015.
- 1991 Cappagh killings, cain.ulst.ac.uk; accessed 7 November 2015.
- Toolis, Kevin (1995). Rebel hearts: journeys within the IRA's soul.
- Cappagh (Incident) Parliamentary debate, 3 May 1990.
- "New Paratroop controversy", The Irish Emigrant, 18 May 1992.
- Fortnight, issues 302-12, Fortnight Publications, 1992, pg. 24
- Wood, Ian S. (1994). Scotland and Ulster. Mercat Press, pg. 61; ISBN 1-873644-19-1
- "Townlands of County Tyrone". IreAtlas Townland Database. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- "Census of Ireland 1851". Enhanced Parliamentary Papers on Ireland. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- "Census of Ireland 1891". Enhanced Parliamentary Papers on Ireland. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
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