Belfast Telegraph

Two stories that show the depth of feeling among those opposed to IRA procession

Gary Bogle is one of the members of Derg Valley Victims' Voice who will meet the Secretary of State today. His father William was murdered in front of Gary and the rest of his family in Killeter, Castlederg, in 1973. His grandmother Annie died as a result of an IRA bomb in 1993

"There is a date that is etched in our memories for all the wrong reasons; this is the date that my father lost his life.

"The 5th of December 1972 remains a date that changed all of our lives, the effects of which we still struggle with today.

"On that day, my two brothers – David, who was nearly four, and Stephen, a baby of nine months – and I were in a car with him outside the post office whilst my mother shopped nearby.

"I was only two-and-a-half so I have no distinct memories of what happened, but my mother still remembers vividly everything that occurred that day.

"Her stories and a few photos are all I have to remember my father by.

"My father exited the car when he saw terrorists approaching us. It became obvious to my father that these terrorists would begin shooting at him despite the fact that we were present in the car.

"He drew the terrorist's focus away from us, but sadly lost his life in doing so.

"Having been cowardly shot in the back, he fell towards my mother, mortally wounded.

"He was just 27 and his last words to my mother were 'I will never leave you', but it was not to be.

"Were it not for his selfless courage and sacrifice, it is possible that I might not be here today to express my utter revulsion at the prospect of having terrorists glorified in the manner that is intended.

"What glory is there to be had in celebrating a coward who shoots someone in the back in front of his wife and three young children?

"Why is Sinn Fein/IRA so intent on causing further pain, anguish and trauma to the families and loved ones who have already suffered so much at their hands?

"We grew up absent of the experiences and love that we should have shared with our father. This was our right, just as my father had the right to life.

"Sinn Fein/IRA did not give my father life; they had no right to take it from him, and in doing so cause intolerable torment.

"I have no idea how my mother managed in the aftermath of this sickening, heinous crime. Until you have suffered as she has, it is impossible to understand the intensity of grief and sense of loss she has had to endure.

"No one has ever been brought to justice for my father's murder. What is being done to right this wrong?

"My family suffered a further blow at the hands of the IRA in 1993.

"It was then that my grandmother Annie, my father's mother aged 74, died of a heart attack after an IRA bomb exploded yards from Derg Fold, where she lived.

"The glorification of terrorists' intent on murder and destruction is morally repugnant by any stretch of the imagination.

"There is no justifiable reason why a parade of this nature should proceed, it should not even have been considered.

"This is an immensely personal issue, making a public statement on the matter has not been taken lightly.

"For my family, this is not about politics; it is not about a shared space or numbers in the demographic.

"Put simply, this is about right and wrong."

 

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An account of the 1990 murder of Olven Kilpatrick by the Derg Valley Victims' Voice group. Olven was an off-duty UDR soldier, a 32-year-old married man with two young children

 

"Olven Kilpatrick was 32 years of age and married with two young daughters. He owned and ran a shoe shop on Castlederg's Main Street and lived a short distance away. Mr Kilpatrick was also a part-time member of the 6th Battalion of the Ulster Defence Regiment, based at Rockwood.

"As well as a businessman and part-time soldier, Olven served as an officer in the Boy's Brigade. Olven Kilpatrick was truly one of the most decent, kindly gentlemen you could ever hope to meet.

"On the evening of Tuesday January 9, 1990, Mr Kilpatrick was preparing to close up his shoe shop for the day when two IRA terrorists walked in and shot him at point-blank range. As Mr Kilpatrick lay mortally wounded, one of the IRA gunmen placed a bomb in a shoe-box close to the entrance of the shop.

"The device was on a timer-control, set to explode an hour later when the security forces would have entered the shop in the ensuing follow-up operation.

"Whilst police and the military were securing the area, the bomb exploded injuring two RUC officers and setting the building alight, destroying the business Mr Kilpatrick had worked so hard to build up. To add further insult and hurt to the merciless shooting and tragedy that unfolded for the victim's family, the Fire Brigade was unable to retrieve Mr Kilpatrick's body until the blaze was brought under control.

"The IRA murder gang had earlier stolen a grey Vauxhall Cavalier car from a family living near Castlederg and used it to make their escape just three miles across the border. Mr Kilpatrick's funeral was held in 2nd Castlederg Presbyterian Church.

"Mr Kilpatrick's minister, the Rev Stewart Jones, said the murder of Olven was another serious setback to community relations in Castlederg.

"Rev Jones added: 'It has always concerned me that this is an area where Sinn Fein gets such a large vote. You have to ask yourselves, is this what they voted for?'

"No one has ever been brought to justice for Olven Kilpatrick's murder."

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