Let us grieve, urge family of campaigner McConville
The brother of victims' campaigner Billy McConville, who died from cancer on Sunday, has said that the family now need the time and space to "quietly grieve" for him.
Mr McConville (50) suffered sexual and physical harm as an orphan at Rubane House in Co Down, where he was sent after the IRA murdered his mother, Jean McConville.
The Belfast man had recently been living at a hospice while bravely coping with cancer.
In recent days he had called on politicians to secure justice and compensation for abuse survivors, dragging himself from his hospital bed to support a Belfast rally.
Speaking before Billy's funeral today, his brother Michael said: "Billy lived out his last days in a media spotlight campaigning for justice for the victims of institutional sexual and physical abuse, a cause he felt passionately about.
"When he was physically at his weakest he showed the greatest strength of character and we are proud of him for that.
"We all hope that politicians heed his dying wish that they get together to address this outstanding injustice, as well as other issues affecting victims and survivors who have been pushed to the margins over many years.
"I hope everyone will understand that we as a family now need the time and space to quietly grieve for Billy. He was much loved. May he rest in peace".
Requiem Mass for Mr McConville will be held at 1pm in St Paul's Parish Church, Falls Road, followed by burial immediately afterwards in Milltown Cemetery.
Mother-of-10 Jean McConville was dragged from her home in Belfast's Divis flats by an IRA gang in 1972. She was shot in the back of the head and secretly buried in Co Louth. Her remains were eventually found in August 2003.