The funeral of Seamus Ruddy, one of the Disappeared victims, has taken place in Newry, County Down.
Mr Ruddy, 32, was murdered and secretly buried in France in 1985 by the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA).
His remains were uncovered at a site in a forest at Pont-de-l’Arche outside Rouen in northern France in May.
Mourners gathered at St Catherine’s Dominican Chapel for the Requiem Mass to pay their respects.
The burial took place in Monks Hill cemetery in Newry.
‘Snuffing-out a life’
The Disappeared are those who were abducted, murdered and secretly buried by republicans during Northern Ireland’s Troubles.
Who were the Disappeared?
Search for Disappeared begins in France
In his homily, Bishop John McAreavey said: “Whatever about the circumstances of Seamus’ death, one thing is certain – his death represented the snuffing-out of a life that had many wholesome qualities.
“It also cut off the promise of a new life in France.”
He added that Mr Ruddy’s family were now able to say “a personal and dignified farewell to him”, and “in the months and years ahead they will be able to visit the grave where Seamus lies”.
New information given to the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains (ICLVR) prompted a fresh search for Mr Ruddy’s remains.
It is understood that the information came from the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP), which has close links to the INLA.
There had been three previous searches in the area, the latest of which was in 2008.
Of the 16 Disappeared victims, three have still not been found.
They are Columba McVeigh, Joe Lynskey and Army Capt Robert Nairac.
Is murder not murder when it is carried out by the forces of the crown?
In the 19th century more than 500 people were brutally gunned to death in India by the British army.
Hundreds of people have been shot to death here in Ireland by the same forces.
Yet these killings are never referred to as murder.
The media will say or print “he/she or they were shot dead” but they will not use the word murder.
Yet in other circumstances the word murder will be used.
It would seem that if you wear the uniform of the British state you are immune from murdering anyone.
In the cases of young Majella O’Hare from Whitecross and Kevin Heatley from Newry and countless other victims British judges will refuse to apply the word murder but will use watered down words like manslaughter etc, thus giving the culprits a shorter sentence or in some cases no sentence at all.
I hope that someone who is expert in my question, ‘when is murder not murder’, will clarify.
The mother of a six-year-old boy who picked up part of a denoted pipe bomb has described the people who left the deadly device at her home as “vile human beings”.
It is understood the device could have been left at the property at Curlew Way in the Waterside area of Londonderry two or three days prior to its discovery.
Some residents recalled hearing a loud bang, but didn’t associate it with anything sinister.
The 26-year-old woman, who lives in the house with her six-year-old son and two-year-old twin daughters, had been away from the house for a few days and had just returned.
Too terrified to be identified, the woman explained how her son picked the detonated device up and showed it to his grandmother, who lives next door.
She said: “The children were out in the garden playing and my son showed this piece of copper with jagged bits to my mother.
“He came into me with it. I didn’t know what it was, but I knew it looked dangerous because of all the jagged edges so I took it off him and put it up away out of his reach.
“I didn’t think for a second it was a pipe bomb, but I was talking to my mother and that’s what she thought it might have been.
“It was on my mind and it was after I put the three children to bed that I decided to ring the police who came out. It was then we found out it really was a pipe bomb.
“My son has no idea what it was and I am never going to tell him. I don’t want him frightened.
“I am still shaking at the very thought of what could have happened to him. I am sickened to think that some kind of a vile human being would do that.
“When I think of what could have happened to my son it makes me angry, but I am scared to be here now too. I haven’t stopped thinking about how much danger we were in.
“Why would anyone do this to us? I am a mother with three young children. It is disgusting.”
The woman suspects the attack was sectarian, as she has Catholic friends.
“I want to leave, I don’t want to live somewhere where it isn’t safe to have Catholic friends and Protestant friends because I can’t think of any other reason why someone would attack me,” she said.
Police investing the attack described it as “reckless”. Detective Inspector Michael Winters said: “Our enquiries are at an early stage. However, it appears the device had detonated prior to it being lifted by the young boy.
“While this was not a live device, the fact a young boy found it and lifted it shows the blatant disregard by those responsible for leaving it there. It was completely reckless.
“I also want to take this opportunity to remind the public if anyone comes across anything suspicious, please call police immediately.”
There was widespread political condemnation of the attack and appeals for information to be passed to the police.
DUP Foyle MLA Gary Middleton said: “People in this area are angry that once again a young family has been targeted in this way because this is a very close community and an attack on one is an attack on everyone.
“It is particularly sinister in that this device was found by a six-year-old boy who was put in danger.
“At that stage the device had already exploded but the child would not have known that.
“We are very lucky we are not dealing with a real tragedy here because these devices have the capability to cause serious injury or death.”
SDLP councillor Martin Reilly is supporting the woman in her quest to be re-homed.
He said: “I spoke to this young mother who has been very badly shaken up by this incident. That was such a terrifying ordeal for her and there is no justification for putting a deadly device at the home of a young family.
“This isn’t the first time we have had an explosive device left in a built-up area. At the end of March we had an explosive device left at a home in nearby Montgomery Close.”
Sinn Fein councillor Sandra Duffy, who chairs the Derry and Strabane Policing and Community Safety Partnership, added her condemnation.
“It is clear that whoever carried out the attack had absolutely no concern for people living in the area and their only aim is to try and exert coercive control of the people residing there,” she said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives at Strand Road on 101, quoting reference number 2084 of 21/05/19.
With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph and Donna Feeney for the original story
THE sister of an IRA hero who was shot dead by the SAS in Loughgall has called on the British Ministry of Defense (MoD) to distance themselves from a banner put up in the village.
Mairead Kelly claims the banner mocks the murder of her brother Patrick (Paddy) Kelly who was one of eight IRA heroes known as: The Loughgall Martyres murdered during an attack on Loughgall’s RUC station 32 years ago on May 8th 1987. Civilian Anthony Hughes was also murdered when he and his brother unwittingly drove into the ambush zone. The banner, which reads “Loughgall supports our troops”, and carries the logos of the SAS and Parachute Regiment (pictured above).
Similar banners have been arrected across the North of Ireland in predominantly loyalist areas after it emerged that a former British Soldier, known as ‘Soldier F’, is to face prosecution for the murder of two men on Bloody Sunday in 1971. Ms Kelly said military chiefs should distance themselves from the display.
“I think if a different flag went up somewhere else there would be a loud outcry,” she said. “I think it’s insensitive particularly because the SAS murdered nine people in that area. “It shows a total disregard for the sensitivities of the families. “I don’t think anybody should mock or take delight in killing of anyone.” Ms Kelly said: “These symbols on this banner are MoD symbols”. “The MoD has to distance themselves publicly or take responsibility and have the banner removed,” she said.
With many thanks to the: Tyrone Courier and Mairead Kelly for the original story