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Sinn Fein backing Shankill bomber plaque

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IRA bomb in Frizell's Fish shop killed 9 innocent people and one bomber.

IRA bomb in Frizell's Fish shop killed 9 innocent people and one bomber.

IRA bomb in Frizell's Fish shop killed 9 innocent people and one bomber.

North Belfast Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly has defended the commemoration of a terrorist bomber who killed himself and nine innocent bystanders when his bomb went off prematurely.

A plaque to remember the IRA man is to be unveiled in Ardoyne later this month.

IRA bomber Thomas Begley was this week described as also being a victim by Gerry Kelly.

In October 1993 Begley and a second IRA man, Sean Kelly, intended to plant a bomb in a flat above Frizzell's fish shop on the Shankill Road – where loyalists were expected to meet. The bomb exploded prematurely and 10 people including Begley died.

Gerry Kelly said: "Everyone has a right to remember their loved ones and Thomas Begley's family and friends are no different."

UUP councillor John Scott, whose niece Wilma McKee died in the blast said Begley wasn't a hero nor was he a victim.

"I can understand that a family may want to remember a son, but this isn't the way to do it, given his crimes," he said.

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North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds said there is no place in Northern Ireland for the glorification of killers.

"His actions are not to be celebrated but should be a source of shame."


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