Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1972, Second Lieutenant Irwin Long, 11th Battalion, the Ulster Defence Regiment, was killed in Northern Ireland.
A part-time member of the regiment, Second Lieutenant Long was in a mixed marriage and had been stopped by members of the IRA four months earlier and warned to leave Northern Ireland. Second Lieutenant Long drove into a Catholic area every day to collect his daughter from his mother-in-law’s home, and so therefore would have been considered an easy target. His daughter was four years old, and he and his wife also had a baby, who was three months old at the time.
On the day of his death, as he arrived at his mother-in-law’s home, an IRA gunman opened fire, fatally wounding him with at least one gunshot to the head, in front of family members. Although rushed to hospital, Second Lieutenant Long died within the hour. He lies buried in the Soldierstown Church of Ireland cemetery in Aghalee.
Irwin, from Lurgan in County Armagh, was 29 years old.