UPDATE: ANOTHER PHOTOGRAPH HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY MICK BROWNE. SEE BELOW.
I am grateful to the family of one of Paddy Joe Crawford’s fellow orphans for the following photographs of the 22-year-old who was hanged to death by fellow IRA inmates in Cage Five of Long Kesh internment camp in June 1973.
As readers of this blog will know the IRA lied to the world about how and why PJ, as he was known to friends, died. The false story was circulated that he had committed suicide but the reality, an open secret in IRA circles, was that he had been sentenced to death without any due process for the alleged offence of breaking during interrogation. The truth was finally revealed in Brendan Hughes’ interviews with Boston College and published in 2010.
I recently wrote on this blog about a song that had been written about Crawford’s murder by Belfast songwriter Dave Thompson and reproduced his Mass card with the comment that this might be the only photograph of the dead man in existence. That prompted the son of a man who had been in two orphanages with PJ to email me to correct my mistake and generously offer to send me a couple of the photos of him in his possession. My thanks to him and his family.
The photos were taken at reunions in 1971/72 of boys who had been brought up by the Poor Sisters of Nazareth at the Nazareth Lodge in South Belfast and the De La Salle home run by the Christian Brothers in Kircubbin, Co. Down.