Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Proposed parade not in line with reconciliation

IN light of the proposed parade in Castlederg to commemorate IRA volunteers, it is worth reading entries to the book Lost Lives, which record some of the brutal incidents that happened in the area.

They are a stark reminder of terrible times and particularly highlight the ethnic cleansing that was carried out in border areas.

Very few of those murders have ever been solved. For instance, that of Frank Hegarty who was abducted by the IRA before his body was found dumped by the side of the road, or the police reservist shot at point-blank range.

The HET should immediately open up a special investigation into murders in this area.

How does this intended parade sit alongside the words of Sinn Fein when its officials say there is a need for reconciliation? There seems to be a clear case of actions not living up to words.

Our society needs to continue to work at reconciling through building relationships, particularly among our young people.

However, we should not leave it to those who hated the most and caused the most heartache to determine the process which brings this about.

Those who seek respect or vindication for past illegal actions should be challenged – whether loyalists, republicans or soldiers who acted outside the law.

The flawed ideologies which fed violence blighted our lives – that includes the families of many who perpetrated violent acts and those who died, or were jailed.

TREVOR RINGLAND

Co-chairman, NI Conservatives

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