SDLP veteran Seamus Mallon joins Moy family on 40th anniversary of Glenanne Gang murder

Moy SDLP councillor Denise Mullen looks at a picture of her parents on their wedding day
Moy SDLP councillor Denise Mullen looks at a picture of her parents on their wedding day

The brutal murder of a Moy SDLP activist by loyalists 40 years ago to the day is “still as fresh” in his daughter’s mind as if it had happened only yesterday.

Father of two young children Denis Mullen had only recently been appointed to a job as Ambulance Controller at South Tyrone Hospital in Dungannon when the notorious Glenanne Gang shot him at the front door of the family home on the night of September 1, 1975.

Denise Mullen, then aged four, at the funeral of her father Denis in 1975

Denise Mullen, then aged four, at the funeral of her father Denis in 1975

His wife Olive survived the attack by running across nearby fields, despite 13 bullets being fired at her.

And, while the Mullen family are one of several from Tyrone and Mid Ulster areinvolved in a lengthy legal process to find out the truth about their loved one’s murdersg, those efforts were put aside at the weekend so Denis’s wife, son and daughter could remember the husband and father they describe simply as “such a good man”.

Veteran SDLP man, Seamus Mallon, as well as party leader Dr Alisdair McDonnell, joined the family at St John’s Church in Moy for Mass on Saturday evening and afterwards at the parochial hall.

Mr Mullen’s four year-old daughter Denise, now an SDLP councillor on Mid Ulster District Council, stayed beside her father’s lifeless body until emergency services arrived on the night of his muder.

Speaking ahead of the gathering to mark the 40th anniversary of her father’s murder, Cllr Mullen said: “It just seems like it happened yesterday, it has never left me.

“Daddy’s murder is still as fresh in my head as that night.

“I know it will be difficult for my mother at the weekend but she, as do we all, want to do something to remember Daddy because he was such a good man.”