Belfast Telegraph

Victim's daughter enraged at handshake

By Joanne Sweeney

The daughter of one of the Disappeared has said the sight of Prince Charles shaking hands with Gerry Adams - "a man who has blood on his hands" - has left her furious.

Jean McKendry was one of 10 children orphaned when her mother Jean McConville was abducted from her west Belfast home by the IRA, shot dead and buried in secret in the Republic in 1972.

However, other victims said the historic handshake had been a gesture of reconciliation.

Ms McKendry said: "Seeing Gerry Adams shake the hand of the Prince of Wales made me very angry. I've never shaken Gerry Adams' hand and I never will. I know the prince lost his great-uncle but it wasn't his mother or a father. That's a different story."

Kate Carroll - the widow of Constable Stephen Carroll, who was gunned down by the Continuity IRA in 2009 - described the handshake as a "positive development".

She said she met Mr Adams at the funeral of Ronan Kerr, a PSNI constable murdered in a booby-trap car bomb in 2011.

"He told me that he really wanted to make the peace process work and I said that I hoped it would," she said. "I see what has happened over the last few days as a positive development.

"It gives us a little bit of hope for the future. It's very noble of Prince Charles to forgive what had happened to his great-uncle and if he can do it as roylaty, then can't we follow suit?"

John Teggart's father Daniel was one of 11 people killed by paratroopers in Ballymurphy in 1971.

"As a grandfather myself, I can identify with Prince Charles as a grandfather over the loss of a loved one. Pain is pain. We still feel the pain of our loss, as do the Kingsmills families," he said.

"An apology in the first instance to our families would go a long way."

Belfast Telegraph


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