Belfast Telegraph

IRA bomber will not object to memorial for his victims

The scene of the Coleraine bombing in 1973
The scene of the Coleraine bombing in 1973
Sean McGlinchey
Donna Deeney

By Donna Deeney

A convicted IRA bomber will not vote against a proposal for a memorial service for the six victims of his explosion in Coleraine in 1973 when it comes before the council he now sits on today.

Two DUP councillors, Alan McLean and Trevor Clarke, will raise the matter at Causeway Coast and Glens Council after they were contacted by some relatives of those who died in the atrocity on June 12, 45 years ago.

Sinn Fein councillor Sean McGlinchey - who sits on the same council - was convicted of planting the bomb, served 18 years in prison and has previously apologised to his victims' families.

Mr McGlinchey said he had "no issue" with the DUP plan to hold a memorial service but it was "selective" when recognition should be given to all victims from the district.

Mr Clarke said: "The motion was brought to try and establish some sort of dignified service, perhaps at the Town Hall on the 45th anniversary of the attack.

"In the former Coleraine Council there was a similar service conducted on the 40th anniversary and relatives of someone who was killed in the attack approached Alan McLean.

"I know some of the survivors and I approached them about the possibility of a memorial service and they were supportive of that, which led to us taking forward the motion.

"It is also calling for consideration to be given to some sort of permanent memorial which is something we could do in consultation with the victims' relatives and the survivors.

"There are many survivors who have been left with very deep psychological scars as well as physical scars because, as you would imagine, there can be a lot of trauma left behind.

"Events like services are a way of people trying to deal with that so I think it is important for that reason that anniversaries are commemorated."

Mr McGlinchey said his only concern about the DUP motion was in respect of other victims from throughout the council area.

He said: "I am very mindful there are victims at the centre of this and I have been very clear about my part in the Coleraine bomb.

"I have apologised.

"I am very, very clear on the need to get some sort of solution for all the victims because it is something that is not going to go away.

"Arlene Foster refused the money for legacy issues, but our party is very clear on legacy issues.

"I will not oppose this motion, but I will be asking questions about where the DUP will stand if there was a proposal for a service to remember the victims of Castlerock or Greysteel, or Francie McCloskey from Dungiven who was batoned to death by the RUC and the first victim of the Troubles."

Belfast Telegraph


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