TRIBUTES were paid at a ceremony in memory of eight local people who were killed during riots in Greenock almost 200 years ago.

People bowed their heads in respect at a commemoration held at the Radical War memorial on Bank Street - 199 years after the uprising.

The Radical War, also known as the ‘Scottish Insurrection’, is regarded by many as the birth of trade unionism.

Soldiers opened fire on a crowd who had tried to free anti-government protesters being escorted to Greenock jail.

Eight people were killed, including an eight-year-old boy and a man aged 65.

Another ten individuals were wounded during the incident.

Tom Dowds, honorary vice president of the 1820 Historical Society, says it is important that the community never forgets this dark moment in history.

He said: "We had the local MP, MSP and councillors - the fact that we had this variety was quite good.

"The Reverend Alan Sorensen, from Wellpark Mid Kirk, spoke about how the people who had gathered there all those years ago were there for a protest to demand their rights and they had been shot down as a result."

Stuart McMillan MSP was also one of the main speakers at the event.

A poem and a Gaelic song were performed by two grandchildren of Iain Ramsay, president of the society.

Tom added: "One of Iain's granddaughters recited a poem while the other sang a song in Gaelic.

"It was great to have young people involved."

The names of all the victims and the words ‘remember the 8th of April, that bloody day when many were wounded and carried away’ are inscribed along the wall at Bank Street, near to where the jail was located in 1820.

Plans are now afoot to organise a special commemoration next year to mark the 200th anniversary of the tragic event.