Bomb target medic 'very touched' by GAA invite
A doctor whose home was attacked by the Real IRA is to lead a sponsored walk in defiance of dissidents.
Forensic medical officer Dr Keith Munro and his wife Anne were invited along with all local MLAs, including the DUP’s Gregory Campbell, to attend Foreglen GAC's annual sponsored walk tomorrow.
While Dr Munro and his wife will attend, Mr Campbell has sent his apologies.
The Real IRA left a bomb outside Dr Munro's home earlier this month on the same day as they targeted the home of a police officer.
Dr Munro told the Belfast Telegraph that both he and his wife were warmly touched by the invite.
He added: “This invite means so much to my wife and I and we were more than happy to accept.
“This is a fundraising walk for the Foyle Hospice, but that the club asked that I specifically represented the hospice warmly touched our hearts.
“Any group who stands up against violence is to be commended. I know the club also invited all local MLAs and I hope as many political leaders and religious figures join us.
“The vast number of messages of support I have received these last two weeks from both communities, locally and from right across the world, has been a great source of comfort for us, but while we must remember the main focus of the Foreglen sponsored walk is to raise vital funds for the Foyle Hospice, I am honoured to have been asked to attend.”
Mr Campbell was also invited, but due to prior arrangements he cannot attend. However, he said the Foreglen club was to be commended.
He said: “My inability to attend has nothing to do with the GAA, I have attended GAA events in the past and when I was Sports Minister I organised events for the GAA.
“In fact, it is commendable that a local sporting organisation from the community sends out a message to a body from the same community that they are not supported, and hopefully that message will be heard.”
Seamus Downey, secretary of Foreglen GAC, said that while the walk had been planned and organised for some time, it was agreed as an appropriate way to show support for Dr Munro.
He added: “There was widespread shock amongst the community that a semi-retired doctor could be a target and we wanted to show our support for him.”
Dr Munro is a retired GP who works as a forensic medical officer. A controlled explosion was carried out on a bomb at his home last week. A bomb also exploded outside a Catholic police officer's house on the Ervey Road near Claudy. No-one was injured. Police blamed the Real IRA for both attacks.