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  • Christina Drummond

Private John Early, the Ulster Defence Regiment

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1986, Private John Early, the Ulster Defence Regiment, was killed in a landmine explosion in County Fermanagh.

He had joined the regiment four years earlier and had just become a full-time member. On the day of his death he was leading the way for a foot patrol on the road from Belcoo to Garrison. A land-mine, hidden in a dry-stone wall, was detonated by remote control and Private Early died from a grievous head wound caused by shrapnel.

Unionist MP Ken Maginnis said: “He was a courageous young man. As a member of the minority he put on the uniform to play his part in protecting the whole community.” He is buried in cemetery of the Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church in Lisnaskea.

John, from Sylvan Hill, Lisnaskea, in County Fermanagh, was 22 years old.

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