Josie was the eldest son of Joe and Annie Connolly. He was a keen sportsman, and in his short life he won numerous trophies for his exploits in boxing. The crowning glory being an Ulster Junior Championship. Josie also had a keen interest in the Gaelic games and played for local Castlederg club, St. Eugene’s C.L.G.
An example of Josie’s attitude and respect for the republican and fellow volunteers, is the story of how Josie left his grandparents’ wake on Easter Sunday to attend the local commemoration at the graveside of Óglach Seamus Harvey. Josie was to have the same fate as Seamus and made his final journey to the same graveyard on 9th February 1989.
On the 5th February 1989 at around 11pm, a bomb prematurely detonated just outside the village of Drumquin. As personnel of the British Forces arrived at the scene, they found a seriously injured young man. Conscious and aware, he refused to give any information or even his identity.
Sadly on February 6th 1989, Josie died from his injuries at the young age of 20. The IRA confirmed that he was a Volunteer on active service.
With many thanks to the: James Connolly Association Australia for the original posting