past weekend Barbara Reilly of Staten Island, New
York died after sustaining a massive heart attack.
Through the 1980s and 90s Barbara and her husband
Bill were to the fore in organising holidays for the
children of Irish political prisoners. They opened
their own home to the chidren and gave their time
and energy to ensure that the children of all Irish
political prisoners, and not a selected few, were
and Bill were to the fore in ensuring that the children
of Republican Socialist prisoners would recieve the
same holiday entitlement as others. The Reilly family
have been great supporters of the struggle in Ireland
for many years and long before it became fashionable.
Barbara's commitment never wavered. Our struggle has
produced many heroes and even more unsung heroes,
and Barbara and Bill Reilly are right up there with
the best of the unsung.
Our two sons spent several summer holidays in the
Reilly home and to say that Barbara and Bill became
like second parents to them is not a cliche. They
became good friends to us all and here in Downpatrick
we mourn greatly the tragic death of our friend. We
will remember the good times. We will remember all
that Barbara did for our POWs and their families.
We will especially remember that she was that rarest
of things, a really good person. To Bill and their
son Sean we extend our heartfelt sympathy. Nothing
at this time will ease your loss but hopefully you
come to know that in Ireland two boys, who have become
men, love and miss her as they would their Mother.
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