Jeffery Stanford Agate

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Jeffery Stanford "Jeff" Agate, OBE[1] (1919 –1977) was the Managing Director of the DuPont factory at Maydown, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. He was shot dead by members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) outside his home at Talbot Park, Derry as he returned from work on the evening of February 2, 1977.[2]

Early life[edit]

Agate was born in Calcutta, West Bengal, India where his father, Carlton Agate, was employed as an engineer. He was educated in England where he achieved a BSc in Engineering.[3] During the Second World War, Agate saw active duty on HMS Devonshire as a Temporary Lieutenant (E) in the Royal Navy.[3] In 1957, he joined DuPont as chief engineer at the Maydown plant. He was promoted to plant manager in 1962 and later became Managing Director.

Murder[edit]

Agate was a well-liked and respected figure in both DuPont and the Derry community. Raymond McClean wrote in The Road to Bloody Sunday that "Jeff Agate was an honest and just human being of the highest calibre. His assassination by the IRA left me in total disbelief and disgust."[4] Agate's killing prompted an enormous outpouring of public grief that culminated in a mass protest at Guildhall Square in Derry and united people from all communities at a time of heightened sectarian tension.[5]

Following his murder, Agate's widow, Vera, (née Dand) returned to her native Newcastle upon Tyne where she lived in relative isolation until her death in 1994.[6] The Agates had no children.

Agate's murder was the first in a series of IRA attacks on businessmen. The IRA claimed that "Those involved in the management of the economy serve British interests. They represent and maintain economic interests which make the war necessary."[4]

Conviction[edit]

In 1979, Raymond McCartney was convicted of Agate's murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. The conviction was overturned in 2007.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gazette Issue 2488 Belfast Gazette, Belfast, 7 June 1968
  2. ^ Soldiers outside Londonderry home of Jeffrey Agate victorpatterson.photoshelter.com Retrieved August 26, 2013
  3. ^ a b [1] Royal Navy (RN) Officers 1939-45
  4. ^ a b “Obituaries, Dr Raymond McClean” The Independent, 21 February 2011
  5. ^ “DuPont factory: 50 years in the making” Belfast Telegraph, 14 December 2010
  6. ^ Alice Vera Agate Ancestry.com. England & Wales Death Index, 1916-2007 [database on-line]
  7. ^ "UK court allows NI compensation appeal" RTE News 11 May 2011

See also[edit]