Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1979, Sergeant Robert Maughan, 9th/12th Royal Lancers, was one of two undercover intelligence officers shot dead in Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh. Also killed was R.U.C. officer Norman Prue.
Sergeant Maughan had previously served in the Royal Navy, and after joining the army he served for six years in Northern Ireland. In 1977 he was Mentioned in Despatches.
On the day of his death he and Detective Constable Prue drove up to the Holy Cross Roman Catholic church in Lisnaskea, where a mass was in progress. Detective Constable Prue got out of the car to buy a copy of the Republic News when a gunman appeared and shot him. Sergeant Maughan was then shot as he sat in the car. The gunmen had been waiting for them, as they were known to purchase a copy of the newspaper every Sunday morning at the church.
The gunmen escaped across the border in a stolen car. The priest and a doctor rushed out from the church, along with some members of the congregation, but the doctor stated afterwards that he could do nothing for either of the men as they were already ded.
This tribute was paid to Sergeant Maughan: “He was fearless and grimly determined to carry out the difficult, often extremely dangerous duties he had to perform, for which he always willingly volunteered…l, in common with other commanders for whom he worked put great store by his views, his opinions and his assessment; many a successful operation owes its success to the painstaking and careful work he did…Tragically the IRA have rid themselves of a formidable foe…Those who served with Sgt Maughan will never forget him and his courageous efforts to secure peace in Northern Ireland.”
Detective Constable Prue, from Sylvan Hill, Lisnaskea, was 29 years old and married with three children.
Robert, from Senham near Newcastle upon Tyne, was 30 years old and engaged to be married.