The brother of a Newry Orangeman murdered by the IRA has said his late sibling would be “proud” to be remembered prominently at the headquarters of the Institution.
Richard Hanna was speaking after donating an Orange banner in memory of his brother, Norman, to the Museum of Orange Heritage in Belfast.
A former member of the UDR, Mr Hanna was fatally wounded in March 1982 as he arrived at the vehicle testing centre where he worked in the city. The Orangeman, 28, had just left his car where his wife and four-year-old daughter were sitting when he was shot by a motorcycle pillion passenger.
Following his death, the civil servant’s Orange lodge, Crieve Purple Star LOL 252, depicted a portrait of Mr Hanna on its banner as a tribute. He was a former deputy master of the Newry lodge.
Poignantly, the banner has now been erected in the lodge room of the Orange museum, in which a memorial window remembers Bro Hanna and 332 other Orangemen murdered during the Troubles.
Richard said the Hanna family were delighted to donate the banner for public viewing.
He said: “Like Norman, my two sons, my cousin and I are members of Crieve lodge and we are happy for the banner to on display at the Orange museum. As my daughter-in-law said, the lodge room is the right and most fitting place for it.
“If there is such a thing, Norman would be proud it is now hanging there and the tradition is kept going.”
Richard maintained his brother always had a keen interest in Orangeism before his untimely death. “He always had great ideas to keep the lodge going and organising different events, as well as encouraging younger members.”
Both brothers were close growing up and acted as best man at each other’s wedding.
“We both played hockey but he was a better player than me. He also played football at a good level,” Richard recalls.
Thirty-four years have passed since Norman’s murder, and while one individual was previously charged in relation to the incident, no-one was ever convicted. Richard remains sceptical the Hanna family will receive the justice they seek for their loved one’s death.
“With the passage of time, I doubt very much we will ever see it,” he said.
Curator of the Museum of Orange Heritage, Dr Jonathan Mattison, said: “We are indebted to the Hanna family for their kind donation of this deeply personal memorial banner. They can be assured Norman’s sacrifice will be a key component in our explanation of the loss inflicted on the Institution during the Troubles.”