19 January 2006

Bloody Sunday weekend speaker widowed by IRA

Daily Ireland

By Eamonn Houston

A man whose wife was killed in an IRA bomb attack is to be the keynote speaker at a Bloody Sunday commemoration event later this month.
Alan McBride will deliver the annual Bloody Sunday commemorative lecture. His wife Sharon was one of ten people killed in an IRA attack on Frizzell’s fish shop on west Belfast’s Shankill Road in 1993.
He will make his address in Derry’s Guildhall on Saturday, January 28, at 8pm.
Relatives of those killed as a result of Bloody Sunday vowed yesterday to continue their justice campaign unless a second inquiry declared the innocence of the 14 people who died.
Relatives and supporters gathered yesterday at the site of the 1972 shootings to launch a black ribbon campaign as a mark of respect for those killed.
A new inquiry into the events of Bloody Sunday was announced in 1998 by British prime minister Tony Blair following a 26-year campaign by relatives.
Lord Saville and two British Commonwealth judges chaired the new inquiry. Campaigners have always maintained that the original inquiry, overseen by Lord Widgery, had been a “whitewash”.
The Saville inquiry is expected to publish its findings later this year.
John Kelly, whose brother Michael was killed by British paratroopers on Bloody Sunday, said yesterday: “This is a year we have been looking forward to. The report’s findings will determine how successful our campaign has been all through the years.
“This is a very significant year but it all depends on the outcome of the report by Lord Saville. If Saville says anything other than our family members were innocent and murdered, our campaign will continue.”
Michael McKinney, whose brother William was also among those killed, said the killings should be commemorated, whatever the outcome of the present inquiry.
A statement issued yesterday on behalf on the Bloody Sunday Justice Campaign praised the efforts of the victims’ families.
“The very fact that a people’s campaign succeeded in forcing the British state to conduct a second public inquiry has itself, rightly, been regarded as a victory for the cause of justice.
“However, recent legislative changes to the terms of reference of public inquiries, compounded by measures currently on new Labour’s ‘war on terror’ agenda, are already seeking to outflank this victory.”
Organisers have asked participants at this year’s commemorative march and rally to light 3,637 candles in honour of all the people who lost their lives during the Troubles. Candles will be provided during the march on Sunday, January 29.
Mark Thompson of the Relatives for Justice organisation will speak, as will representatives from Sinn Féin and the SDLP.

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