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Miami Showband massacre survivor 'prays for killers'

By Claire Williamson

A survivor of the Miami Showband massacre has said he never goes to bed without "asking for mercy for those who wounded him and murdered his friends".

Stephen Travers was the guest speaker at the Wave Trauma Centre's Day of Reflection to remember all those who were killed or injured during the Troubles.

Three members of the band were shot dead by a UVF gang as they drove to Dublin after a gig in Banbridge, Co Down in July 1975.

Speaking after yesterday's poignant event in Belfast, Stephen said: "My prayer is that there will be some reconciliation between all of us and we can work together with our shared experience and perhaps dissuade people never to consider violence as a political option again."

He called on Stormont's politicians to get back to work to ensure proper funding to investigate Troubles atrocities. He said: "It's as if the powers that be are waiting for us all to die off. What they don't realise is the hurt, the pain, the frustration has been transferred from generation to generation, it's not diluting, it's not diminishing, if anything it's becoming more entrenched."

Alan McBride of Wave Trauma Centre, whose wife Sharon was among nine people killed by the IRA in the Shankill bomb in 1993, explained why yesterday had been chosen for reflection.

He said: "Perhaps one of the saddest statistics that I have ever heard of is that there was no single calendar day, including February 29 and Christmas Day when no-one died in the Troubles.

"It was then decided to hold the event on June 21, the summer solstice, the longest day of the year."

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