As a border area with a unionist-majority population, Markethill and District has suffered during 'the Troubles'. With the renewal of violence in 1969, Markethill and its inhabitants were to bear the brunt of murder and violence. Following the outbreak of violence, the British Army was stationed at Gosford Castle, increasing the threat to the town and district.

The first bomb in 1971 devastated the town. The 1972 signing of the Sunningdale Agreement to power-sharing served only to intensify the bitterness. Following the first bomb attack, the population of the town dropped quite considerably with hundreds of people leaving for safety in areas further from the border.

Despite the exodus, the town continued to extend its boundaries with development along Newry Street in 1969, Pinley Green in 1974, Ashgrove in 1977 and Coolmillish Park in 1984. Since then the town has continued to grow, with more estates being added and new houses built in the adjoining countryside.

In the era of 'The Troubles', Markethill has suffered five bomb attacks and numerous shootings and murders of security forces and private citizens. The town again suffered again in 1991 when a one-thousand-pound IRA bomb destroyed the local police-station and extensively damaged surrounding buildings, including the livestock market, Spence Bryson factory, the local chemist's and private homes. Spence Bryson factory left the town and severed its century-long association with the area. The last bomb to devastate the town was in September 1997 when a four-hundred-pound bomb temporarily set back the recovery of the town.

In the accompanying recording, members of the SAVER & NAVER group in Markethill (South & North Armagh Victims Encouraging Recognition) talk about loved ones who were killed on duty as a result of political violence in the Troubles. Pearl Marshall talks about her son, Constable Michael Marshall, Royal Ulster Consabulary; Ivy Sterrit talks about her son, Constable David Sterritt, Royal Ulster Consabulary; Agnes Crozier talks about her husband, Lance Corporal Robert Crozier, Ulster Defence Regiment.

Reatha Hassan describes the aims of the SAVER & NAVER organisation at the end of the recording.

Photo of Pearl Marshall, Reath Hasson, Ivy Sterritt and Agnes Crozier of Naver and Saver in 2003.

Use the audio controller to listen to this talk, given in 2003.

The demolition of Spence Bryson factory in 1991. Markethill LOL Memorial 1986.