Long speaks out against Shankill bomber commemoration

Alliance Deputy Leader Naomi Long MP has again condemned the commemoration which took place today for the Shankill bomber Thomas Begley, who was killed by his own bomb.4

Nine people were killed along with Begley, when his bomb exploded outside a fish shop on the Shankill Road on 23 October 1993. Today’s event took place only days before the 20th anniversary of the atrocity.

Naomi Long MP said: “Families will mourn the loss of a loved one, but today’s commemoration will only have caused unnecessary hurt to the relatives of all those murdered on that tragic day in 1993.

“Victims must be shown respect and sensitivity, something that this event has failed to do. It is also clear that lessons have not been learnt from the Castlederg parade, which also caused great hurt and upset.

Alliance North Belfast representative Councillor John Blair added: “This event has setback community relations in North Belfast and created further divisions in our society.

“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. It would be unwise to simply draw a line under the past. We must deal with our past in a manner that promotes reconciliation and which is consistent with a shared future. 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.”

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