28 January 2006

Bloody Sunday lecture: No monopoly on pain

Daily Ireland

By Ciarán O’Neill

A man whose wife was killed in an IRA bombing said last night that nobody had a monopoly on suffering in the Northern conflict.

Giving the annual Bloody Sunday lecture in Derry's Guildhall, Alan McBride said it was vital that everyone accept responsibility for their actions but work together towards creating a better future.
Mr McBride's wife Sharon was one of ten people killed when the IRA bombed a fish shop in west Belfast's Shankill Road in 1993. His father-in-law was also killed in the attack.
Last night, Mr McBride spoke about the “sheer hell” that he went through in the aftermath of his wife's death.
He told the 300-strong audience how he channelled his anger into working with young people from all sides of the community.
Mr McBride admitted that many people within his community were opposed to him taking part in last night's lecture.
He said it was important that republicans work to build confidence within the unionist community. He urged Sinn Féin to support policing arrangements in the North.
He criticised the Democratic Unionist Party for its continued refusal to share power with republicans.
In a strong attack on the current stalemate in the political process, Mr McBride said he felt let down by politicians on all sides.
“It is almost eight years after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement and we still haven't got an assembly. This is nothing short of shameful,” he said.
“This needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency without each side blaming the other in a process that goes round and round but delivers nothing.
“Nothing is going to replace the Good Friday Agreement. There are people who are saying we can move on without others but this is not going to happen.”
The Belfast man said he believed that a “truth recovery process” was important in the North, involving acknowledgment and apologies from those caught up in the conflict.
“At the end of the day, much of what has happened during the conflict was wrong and they should say so,” he said.
He said it was vital that all sides continue to work for peace.
“The best memorial we can have to those who died is to create a society where these things never happen again, a society where we as republicans and unionists can share what we have in common, and a better place for our children,” he added.
Several other events will take place in Derry today as part of the Bloody Sunday commemoration weekend.
The weekend will culminate tomorrow with the annual Bloody Sunday march, which follows the route of the 1972 demonstration. The march will leave Creggan shops at 2.30pm.
A special candlelight tribute will take place at the end of the march in memory of all those killed during the conflict. More than 3,500 candles will be distributed to marchers at Free Derry Corner.

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