Malachy McDonald died on January 1, 2011. Each year at Hartford Irish Northern Aid's Bloody Sunday commemoration mass, Malachy read the names of the fourteen who were killed by British soldiers during a peaceful civil rights march in Derry on January 30, 1972.
This year, his widow Noreen read the names in his place.
Malachy was born on March 7, 1931 in Portadown, County Armagh. He was educated in Ireland and emigrated to the United States in 1953. He settled and lived his whole life in Manchester, Connecticut.. Malachy was a life member of the Irish American Home Society in Glastonbury and an active member of Irish Northern Aid Hartford Chapter.
His favorite slogan was "Tiocfaidh ár lá" (Our day will come). The National Organization of Irish Northern Aid in New York recognized Malachy and Noreen in 2000 for their many years of dedication to the cause of peace and justice in his beloved Ireland.
In 2010, Malachy offered some remarks in addition to the reading of the names of the fourteen martyrs. Malachy knowledge of history and his strong sense of human suffering on a global scale are reflected in the speech. Here are his words:
"I offer my remarks without vindictive persuasion. It is now 38 years hence since Bloody Sinday in Derry, but still vividly etched in memory.
Now while our main focus is of events in Derry, I want to remind you of an equally horrendous Bloody Sunday, though seldom recalled. In Dublin in 1920 Black and Tans [the brutal British police in Ireland] invaded the national stadium in Croke Park during a game between Dublin and Tipperary and with murderous intent opened fire on players and spectators alike. And just as in Derry, killing 14 and wounding many, many others.
Can you visualize the pain and terror unfolded there? I have often reflected that Ireland thorugh brutal occupation has endured well nigh a millenium of Bloddy Sundays.
Now, I'm not minimizing the significance of today's commemoration, but in a humanitarian sense it does pale in the scope and enormity of the calamity that has befallen the Caribbean island of Haiti.
So it is only fitting that we include, in our Mass and prayers, the dead, the injured, and the people rendered homeless in that awful carnage."
We will miss you Malachy!