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UVF killer’s brother in ‘postpone parade’ plea

The brother of a UVF man, who killed a Catholic in 1989 before being shot dead by soldiers, has called for the postponement of a contentious parade in his memory, saying the family of his victim deserve the chance to move on.

Brian Robinson was one of two UVF gunmen who murdered Catholic man Patrick McKenna on the Crumlin Road in September 1989. Robinson was shot dead just seconds later a short distance from the scene by an undercover Army patrol.

Since then parades have been held in his memory.

However, his brother Rab Robinson has called for this year’s parade to be postponed following the sudden death of another brother, Stephen.

Mr Robinson said he wanted to reissue a “heartfelt plea” to those who organise the parade to postpone the event so that he can continue grieving for Stephen. He added that the parade is a “stark reminder of what took place over 20 years ago” and is “in no way a source of comfort to me”.

“Two men died on that day in 1989 and I believe that the McKenna family also deserve space to grieve,” he said.

“After all, we are now 16 years into the peace process and we all need to draw a line under the past and move on for the sake of the next generation of young people growing up in Northern Ireland.”

Mr Robinson said he would like the organisers to consider the format of the parade “in the interests of pursuing peace and reconciliation between the Shankill and Ardoyne communities”.

He added: “This would enable the family of Paddy McKenna to move on with their lives and remember their loss in a peaceful and dignified manner.

“My greatest desire for the people of the Shankill is that there can be a time of healing from the pain in the past and the emergence of renewed hope, particularly for the next generation growing up in our society.”

However, in a recent statement parade organisers said that the march will not be postponed “now or anytime in the future”.

The statement added: “We trust the parade will continue to grow in strength.

“Furthermore, this parade has absolutely no impact on community relations between the Shankill Road and Ardoyne, as the parade route remains within the confines of our local community.”

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