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Death of a Farmer

A radio documentary on the death of farmer Tom Oliver from Riverstown, Cooley, Co Louth in July 1991 (Broadcast 1992)

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3.9/5 (71 ratings)

Death of a Farmer

On July 18th 1991 Tom Oliver, 37, went out to tend to a cow calving.

He never returned home.

Two days later, his body was found in a field about 15 miles away from his homeplace, just over the border in South Armagh. He had been tortured before being shot six times in the head.

The IRA claimed responsibility for his death, accusing the farmer of being a Garda informer.

Tom Oliver’s murder began a wave of outrage against the IRA, culminating in a peace rally by 4,000 people in Cooley, Co. Louth. Cardinal Cathal Daly used the rally to call for a "peace process".

The murder of Tom Oliver also led to local IRA members be ostracised from the community - family member set against family member - relations between neighbours damaged forever.

‘Death of a Farmer’ was first broadcast in April 1992.

In 2003, allegations came to light to suggest that Tom Oliver was murdered by Freddie Scappaticci, an IRA member named as ‘Stakeknife’.

Participants: Peadar MacDonald,Fr. Denis Faul, Marie Savage(sister), Liz Keenan, Bernard Murnaghan(teacher), Liam Oliver(cousin).

Produced by Julian Vignoles.

An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One - the home of Irish radio documentaries

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