Tributes paid to Clough IRA murder victim

Tributes paid to Clough IRA murder victim

12 July 2017

TRIBUTES have been paid to an IRA murder victim 30 years after he was gunned down in his Clough home.

Charles Watson, a former UDR soldier and prison officer, was shot by IRA gunmen on May 22, 1987, in the bathroom of his Downpatrick Road home.

On Wednesday Mr Watson was remembered at the opening of the Orange arch in the village by the Worshipful County Grand Master, Bro. Sam Walker.

In his address at the event, the Worshipful Master of Clough LOL 1042, Bro Phil Colmer, said Mr Watson was a leading light not just in his home village of Clough but throughout Ulster and further afield. 

“His name and memory continues to live on as a name associated with both loyalty and commitment to this very day,” he said.

“First and foremost, Charlie was a devoted family man, a dedicated and loving husband, father, son and brother,” continued Mr Colmer.

”Charlie served as Worshipful Master in Clough LOL 1043 and Clough RBP 1044 as well as President of Clough No Surrender Apprentice Boys Club. In addition, he was a leading member of Clough Orange and Blue Accordion Band. 

“Having served in the Ulster Defence Regiment, Charlie subsequently served as a Prison Officer in the Northern Ireland Prison Service. Charlie would not be found wanting by his Country when it came to serving and protecting it from our enemies. Regrettably, the same could not be said about the state when it came to protecting him.

“Thirty years on since the murder of Charles Watson, it is with great pride that we remain steadfast in Clough, standing firm as Loyalists within South Down. Our Loyal Order numbers continue to increase and our Lodge is privileged to accompany the Accordion Band which Charlie cherished so dearly,” said Mr Colmer.

During his address Bro Sam Walker praised the brethren of Clough for their ongoing commitment and dedication to the Loyal Orders referring also to their Orange Arch as forming part of the bastion of Orange culture. 

Bands in attendance included Clough Orange and Blue Accordion Band, The William Johnston Accordion Band, Ballykilbeg, Aughlisnafin Accordion Band, The Red Hand Defenders Flute Band, Downpatrick, Inch Flute Band, Crossgar Young Defenders Flute Band, The Star of Down Flute Band, Maghera, Hollymount Pipe Band and Crimson Arrow Pipe Band, Newcastle.

The event concluded with light refreshments in Clough Orange Hall.