John lost his life in the line of duty on the 27th August 1976 while tackling a fire in Armagh, Northern Ireland. His Red Plaque was presented on the anniversary of his death on the 27th August 2021.
A firefighter at Armagh Fire Station, John lost his life when he attended a property fire on the 27th August 1976. The building collapsed, trapping him and fellow firefighter Des Moynes. Two colleagues were able to locate and release the firefighters, but tragically John did not survive. He was just 19 years old at the time of his death.
At the Red Plaque unveiling ceremony, Dermot Rooney, FBU Northern Ireland Regional Chair, said:
“Firefighters risk their lives every day to keep others safe from danger. Sadly, 45 years ago today, John answered the call when he was needed and paid with his life.
“It will be a privilege to unveil this plaque paying tribute to John, ensuring that he is remembered having been taken from us when he was so young.
“At the FBU we are committed to recognising and honouring every fallen firefighter. We’re proud that this memorial will provide his family, friends and colleagues and the community with a place to remember him and reflect on his bravery and sacrifice for all time. He will never be forgotten.”
The Red Plaque is located at 39 Upper English Street, Armagh, the site of the fire. It was unveiled by John’s sister, Dolores Nichol.
John is remembered by his family, friends, and his brothers and sisters throughout the fire service and FBU.
Photo credits: Kelvin Boyes