Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1978, Private Alan Ferguson, the Ulster Defence Regiment, was killed in an ambush near the border between County Fermanagh and County Leitrim.
He had been part of a mobile patrol which came under attack near the post office in the Scribbagh townland near Belcoo. Members of the IRA used a land-mine and machine-guns, and were situated across the border. Private Ferguson was the only soldier killed, although another was injured.
Private Ferguson’s funeral service was held in the Inishmacsaint Parish Church in Derrygonnelly; his mother had played the organ there for twenty-five years, and his father sang in the choir. During the service, the bishop spoke of him: “We give thanks for this boy’s life…His ideals, his way of life, his sense of values, were infinitely higher [than those that took his life]…his soldiering was legitimate and positive, his work honest and productive. His type is without doubt the backbone of any country.”
Alan, from Enniskillen in County Fermanagh, was 23 years old.