Newry event on the impact of terrorism on border areas was a success, say organisers

Supporters and organisers of an event in Newry last week that discussed the IRA onslaught on border Protestants say they were encouraged by the fact it was full.

Tuesday, 5th March 2019, 12:05 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th March 2019, 1:10 pm
Audience at the RL Mitchell Memorial Hall in Newry for 'A Border Between Truth and Justice - An Evening of Reflection' on Tuesday February 26 2019

Speakers at Tuesday night’s gathering, ‘A Border between Truth and Justice,’ included Prof Henry Patterson and Rev Alan Iwrin.

The former UUP MLA Danny Kennedy said: “The huge turnout and the level of local interest in the truly horrific experiences visited upon the Unionist population in the Newry, South Down and South Armagh areas confirms the need for a full, proper and comprehensive inquiry into the murderous activities carried out by republicans with the passive acquiesce of successive Irish governments. This story must be told to a wider audience”.

A spokesperson for the Newry event said: “We were greatly encouraged by Tuesday’s night’s large attendance, the hall was filled to capacity with many also standing.

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“The three speakers Rev Norman Hutton, Prof Henry Patterson and Rev Alan Irwin were warming received. Their comments and analysis on thirty years of terrorism were thought provoking for both young and old.

“The actual purpose of the event was two-fold, firstly to commemorate the life and death of Robert Mitchell who had been murdered 42 years previously by Provisional IRA terrorists on 26th February 1977.

“Robert was deeply respected retired Protestant businessman who was callously murdered in front of his two elderly sisters. He contributed much to all the community and business and civic life of Newry and District”.

“Secondly the event outlined the need for a documented history of what occurred over the years of ‘The Troubles’ within Newry and district and the legacy that terrorism and violence has had upon demographics, services and community relations.”

The spokesperson added: “There is a need for historians, academics and others to unify around an objective of a fact based account of thirty years of terrorism thus ensuring truth and justice for all innocent victims is not distorted or indeed misrepresented.

“Future generations deserve better — we owe it to the likes of Robert Mitchell and many, many others, we must stand up for and preserve the truth.”