Counsellors were expected to be brought in today to give support and advice to Domino’s staff who worked with the two young men who were gunned down by the Real IRA as they delivered pizza to the Massereene Barracks on Saturday evening.
Two pizza deliverymen — one named as 19-year-old local Anthony Watson and the other a 32-year-old Polish man — were seriously injured in the attack. The killers targeted the two men claiming they were “collaborators”.
Father Anthony Devlin from St Comgall’s Church, who visited the employees at the Antrim shop last night, said the workers had expressed an overwhelming sense of shock and sadness at their friends’ shooting and were completely devastated by the callous events at the weekend.
Most of the staff are believed to be aged in their late teens — too young to remember the Troubles.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph following morning Mass, Father Devlin explained the mood of Antrim today was one of complete sadness. However ,he said there was also hope which was borne out of the fact that everyone in the community has pulled together.
“The people’s mood today and last night was just sadness,” he said. “People were just thinking about the sadness for those parents today whose sons are dead and who thought it was all a nightmare, but it’s real. That’s the number one feeling.
“Last night I was in the Domino’s store and the young ones there were just absolutely devastated that their friends had been shot. I even heard they are going to bring in counsellors today to give them a talk. Most of those ones are only 18, 19 years of age, and they have never experienced — thank god — any of this.
“But there is hope. Everyone who spoke yesterday — apart from the Real IRA — will say ‘No we don’t want this and will work very hard to make sure this does not happen again.”
He added: “Yesterday, after the first services we just thought ‘what can we do to show our support for these parents’ and we talked among ourselves and said we would invite our people after the second mass to come across to the roundabout and we’d wait for the different churches which were coming and mingle and talk with each other. Rather than retreat into our homes and our own thoughts, we would meet and talk to each other, pray and tell the people we don’t want this.”