Plaque to be unveiled in memory of Stephen

Lance Corporal Stephen McKee
Lance Corporal Stephen McKee

MEMBERS of 1st Banbridge Northern Ireland Supporters Club will unveil a plaque in memory of Lance Corporal Stephen McKee later this week.

The unveiling of the plaque will take place on Thursday evening at 7.30pm in Banbridge Royal British Legion, watched by members of the McKee family.

Club Secretary, Nigel Geoghegan, said that the members of 1st Banbridge NISC felt that it was important to commemorate the life of one of their founder members.

“As a supporters club we have been in existance for 10 years and Stephen was one of the first members of the club,” said Nigel. “He is also only the second member to pass away in the club’s history.

“When Stephen was killed we decided that we wanted to do something to remember him, but we wanted to wait until after his name had been put on the War Memorial.”

The memorial is being erected in the Legion hall as, according to Nigel, “It seemed like the obvious place to erect a memorial to Stephen.”

He added, “The family have been consulted at every step of the way and we’ll be delighted to see some of the members of the family there on the night.

“We must also express thanks to the committee of the Legion for allowing us to erect the plaque in their building and hopefully some of their members will be there on the evening, along with as many of our own members.”

Lance Corporal McKee, from 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment, was killed in Afghanistan on 9 March 2011.

He was killed when during an operation to disrupt insurgent activity in the northern Dashte area of Nad ‘Ali district his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device.

Aged 27, he had he joined 3rd Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment as a part-time soldier in 2003. When the Home Service were disbanded he decided to transfer to 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment and he joined them at Tern Hill, Shropshire, in April 2007.

Lance Corporal McKee was posted to B Company, where he served for three years before moving to the Machine Gun Platoon in D Company in 2010.