Former Lurgan College student Aaron Carson has jointly won a bursary set up in memory of an Ulster Unionist Assembly Member shot dead by the IRA.
This month marks the 30th anniversary since Edgar Graham, an Ulster Unionist Assembly Member, was shot dead by the IRA on December 7, 1983.
He was aged just 29.
Members of the Ulster Unionist Party held a memorial ceremony at Stormont last Saturday to mark the anniversary.
During the ceremony this year’s Edgar Graham Bursary was awarded to five local students, including Aaron from Lurgan who is now studying politics at Queen’s University.
Ulster Unionist MLA Jo-Anne Dobson paid tribute to Aaron’s achievement.
She said: “Edgar was an extremely intelligent, hard-working young man who was killed in cold blood because he believed passionately about Northern Ireland and its people.
“It was extremely poignant and moving to join colleagues to honour Edgar’s memory, 30 years on from his brutal murder. Dermot Nesbitt, who was walking beside Edgar when he was shot, laid a wreath beside the inscription in Edgar’s memory which is situated in the rotunda outside the Assembly Chamber at Stormont.
“Northern Ireland has come long way since 1983. But in moving forward we will never ever forget Edgar and the countless others who died because they believed in the unionist cause.”
Aaron said he was honoured to receive the bursary. “Edgar Graham was a leading young talent in the Ulster Unionist Party who was murdered because of his constant struggle for peace in Northern Ireland.
“It was an honour to attend the ceremony, to be awarded the bursary in his memory at Stormont and to get the chance to meet with members of his family as well as to chat with Dermot Nesbitt.
“The memorial bursary scheme emerged following his death. A scheme which helps young people to realise their talents and pursue their dreams – something which those who chose to take his life denied to Edgar Graham.”