Long says commemoration of Shankill bomber will cause unnecessary distress for the families

Alliance Deputy Leader Naomi Long MP has condemned a proposed event to commemorate Shankill bomber Thomas Begley, who was killed by his own bomb.

Nine people were killed along with Begley, when his bomb exploded outside a fish shop on the Shankill Road on 23 October 1993. The planned event is due to take place on the 20th October, only days before the 20th anniversary of the atrocity.

Naomi Long MP said: “Families will of course mourn the loss of a loved one, regardless of the circumstances surrounding their death but a commemoration such as this will cause unnecessary distress to the relatives of those who were murdered on the day and who have been living with that loss every day since.

“Those who are organising this event are failing to respect and show sensitivity for victims and it is clear lessons have not been learnt from the Castlederg parade, which caused great hurt and upset. Likewise, this event has the potential to cause serious distress and set back community relations.

“How we mark and memorialise those who died in the Troubles is a sensitive area and needs to be addressed as part of our work on dealing with the past. Any process needs to include recognition of the hurt caused to the bereaved and injured, sensitivity to victims and must never stray into the glorification of terrorism.

“I would urge those involved to reconsider their actions, particularly at a time when victims’ families will be reliving their loss at this anniversary, and when there are already heightened tensions in the area.”


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