'I forgive bomber and pity his family'

THE daughter of a man killed in an IRA bomb attack by Frank 'Bap' McGreevy, who died after being savagely beaten just over a week ago, says she forgave the bomber and feels pity for his family.

Jean Morrison, whose father John Smiley, 55, died in the blast at the Klondyke Bar on Sandy Row in south Belfast in January 1976, said that despite forgiving her father's killers, she wanted the victims of the numerous tragedies of the Troubles to be remembered.

Mrs Morrison, who still lives in Sandy Row, told a Sunday newspaper that she held no hatred or spite against her father's killer, but felt that he and others had been forgotten.

"That man suffered a bad death, but so did my daddy."

She said she felt for the McGreevy family. It was the people left behind who had to carry on, she said, and her family was still dealing with the grief over her father's murder.

"It is the people who are left behind who have to carry the burden, and we are still carrying that burden of tragedy and sorrow and grief."

McGreevy was convicted of murder and other offences after the Klondyke bar attack during one of the bloodiest years of the Troubles.

Many people were also left seriously injured, including a barmaid who lost an eye.

She later gave evidence against McGreevy, but was said to have never fully recovered from the attack and died three years later.

The bomber served 17 years in prison before being released in the early 1990s.

Frank McGreevy, 51, died after being beaten at his home in Ross Street in the lower Falls area of west Belfast on Saturday, March 15.

He was discovered lying injured by his 15-year-old son, Francis. He was taken to hospital and put on a life support machine, but died on Tuesday.

He has another son, Tiernan, aged nine.

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams gave a eulogy at his funeral on Saturday.

The coffin was draped in an Irish tricolour and had a beret and gloves placed on top, indicating his membership of the IRA.

Mr Adams told mourners at the funeral at St Peter's Cathedral that Mr McGreevy was a well-known and well-respected figure in the area who he had known since the early 1970s.

"I never for a moment thought that I would be standing here on Easter Saturday morning giving an oration at the graveside of Bap McGreevy," he said.

"He loved his clan. He loved music. He loved Celtic. He was extremely proud of his two sons. Those who murdered him have no concept of any of this.

"His terrible death has created a storm."

Mr McGreevy's killing and the subsequent community anger at the attack echo the murder of another man in west Belfast last year.

Greengrocer Harry Holland died after being stabbed with a screwdriver when he confronted teenagers trying to steal his car from outside the family home in Andersonstown.

Thomas Valliday, 20, who handed himself into police following the attack on Mr McGreevy, has been charged with his murder.