Terror victims honoured at special border service
Hundreds of victims of terrorism crowded into a small border church yesterday for a service of remembrance and thanksgiving.
Organised by the South-East Fermanagh Foundation (SEFF), the event took place in the Templecarn Church of Ireland, Pettigo, yards from the border, and brought together victims' relatives from the UK and the Republic.
The names of 34 terror victims remembered yesterday were read out at the service.
Those from the UK were read by Barbara McGinley, sister of John McCabe, who was murdered in 1986 in Maguiresbridge, and those from the Republic by Albert Walsh, brother of Leslie Walsh, who was one of 12 murdered in the M62 coach bombing in 1974.
Among the names was that of Lord Louis Mountbatten, killed by an IRA bomb at Mullaghmore in 1979, as well as members of the RUC and Garda, soldiers of the British and Irish armies, and civilians murdered by terrorists during the Troubles.
Twenty-seven new embroidered patches - representing 34 innocent terror victims - were added to a memorial quilt unveiled at the service.
The patches are embroidered by 12 women associated with SEFF, all of whom themselves were impacted by terrorism.
They liaise with the families of the victims to produce the tapestries, and how they want their loved ones to be represented and remembered.
Among the speakers was David Kelly, whose father Private Patrick Kelly was murdered by the IRA in 1983 during the hunt for IRA kidnap victim Don Tidey.
Garda officer Gary Sheehan was also murdered by the IRA in the same action.
Mr Kelly spoke movingly about the impact the violence had on his family. There were four little children left behind after his father was murdered - the eldest of them aged nine, the youngest just 13 weeks old.
No one has been convicted for the murder of Private Kelly.
Speaking after the service, Kenny Donaldson said: "Terrorism knows no borders.
"Today's service brought together victims under the one banner of innocence.
"People here today came from all faith backgrounds and none, people from unionist and national backgrounds, all under one, with the common shared aim of remembering the innocent, and not wanting the history of our Troubles to be rewritten.
"People were determined that they would speak out more in the times ahead."
Among those at the service was Labour MP Kate Hoey, UUP MLA Rosemary Barton, former UUP leader Tom Elliott, and councillors from border counties
But the majority of people in the village church had been directly affected by terrorism.
"They take first place in our thoughts," Mr Donaldson said.