Belfast Telegraph

Sad farewell to Joan Travers whose daughter was killed by Provos

By Staff Reporter

A Belfast woman, who narrowly escaped with her life in 1984 after the IRA murdered her daughter and attempted to kill her husband as they returned from Sunday mass, has been laid to rest.

Joan Travers was left heartbreakingly cradling her dying daughter Mary ‘on a dusty street’ after the atrocity close to St Brigid’s Church, a short distance from their Windsor Avenue home in the Malone Road area.

Her husband, former Magistrate Tom Travers, survived the attack despite being shot six times.

Joan passed away peacefully last week and was yesterday laid to rest in Kilclief, Co Down, with her husband, and Mary. Hundreds of people expressed their condolences to the Travers family following her death.

Her daughter Ann, who has become a powerful voice for victims of terrorism, said she felt “drained and sad” last night after saying her final farewell to her mother.

“Today Mum was laid to rest with Dad and Mary,” she posted on her Facebook page.

“I’m completely drained and very sad. Thank you everyone for all your messages of support.”

She said she was taking solace from a quote she was sent from a friend by Belfast writer CS Lewis: “There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.”

She added: “I hold that in my heart that Mum is happy with Dad and Mary.”

Politicians from most of the major parties expressed their sympathy, along with Stephen Gault, whose father was killed in the Enniskillen Poppy Day massacre and Kevin Skelton, whose wife died in the Omagh bombing.

Survivors of terrorism had supported Ann Travers’ campaign to prevent former prisoners who were guilty of serious offences becoming highly-paid Stormont special advisors.

Ms Travers launched her campaign after a woman convicted of her sister’s murder was appointed as a special adviser by Sinn Fein Culture Minister Caral Ni Chuilin. Mary Ann McArdle, who had been 19 at the time of the killing, was jailed for life for transporting the guns used.

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