Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1986, Private Martin Alfred Blaney, the Ulster Defence Regiment, was killed in Northern Ireland.
He was a part-time member of the regiment, and was also employed through the Action for Community Employment scheme at Brantry Parish Church. On the day of his death he set off at 5:30 p.m. to drive home to his home, a few miles from Dungannon. Earlier that afternoon IRA gunmen had hijacked a vehicle, holding the owner’s family hostage for several hours; they also took over the home of Private Blaney’s neighbour, a woman who lived with her widowed mother.
As Private Blaney approached his home, he was ambushed and shot three times. The two terrified women whose house had been taken over were warned not to report the incident. Private Blaney was buried with full military honours at the St. John Church of Ireland in Caledon.
Martin, from Eglish in County Tyrone, was 27 years old.