‘A message to the IRA man who killed my brother: you have wasted your life’

A letter from George Larmour:

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 7:00 am
JOHN LARMOUR AS A LITTLE BOY...

My wife and I celebrated our 50th golden wedding anniversary back in April. Some would suggest she deserves a medal.

I will soon encounter a 33rd anniversary. In wedding terms, it isn’t important enough to have its own name. But 33 years is considered an anniversary of wisdom and reflection. That seems appropriate as I reflect that my brother John was murdered 33 years ago on October 11, the day our lives changed forever.

A date that resulted in the premature deaths of my broken-hearted mum and dad. And the start of 33 years of me listening to endless lies and platitudes from those in authority whose actions never lived up to the promises they made to bring John’s known killers to justice.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

...AND AS A MAN; JOHN WAS 42 WHEN HE WAS KILLED IN AN ICE-CREAM PARLOUR ON SOUTH BELFAST'S LISBURN ROAD

I wonder, as I do every anniversary, what the gunman will be doing this year. Has he gained wisdom in his own aging years as he perhaps contemplates his own mortality? Will he spare even a momentary thought for the pain he created by his decision to end the life of another human being?

Will he reflect on that night when he stood at the counter in Barnam’s ice cream parlour pretending to be just another customer? Spoke to John. Asked for chocolate ice cream. And when John was distracted shot him four times, ending his life on this little piece of earth we call home. And for what?

Of course if Boris Johnson’s disgraceful proposal for a ‘statute of limitations’ – blanket amnesty – is implemented, he will not need to worry about his past coming back to haunt him. He, and all those who inflicted such trauma and heartache on all sides, know now that you really can get away with murder. What a despicable and dangerous precedent to set and wrong message to send to the young, vulnerable, and impressionable youth of today who never lived through the horrors of the ‘Troubles’.

We just have to look at the scenes of supposedly-intelligent and rational adults fighting over petrol at garage forecourts in recent days to realise that the simplest of sparks is all that is needed to ignite the underlying flames of sectarian hatred here.

Letter to the editor

American author Mark Twain once wrote: “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why.”

None of us was born evil. Do you, my brother’s killer, look back to that day of innocence when you were born and realise that, like us all, you could have achieved so much in life?

I never set out with hate in my heart to intentionally hurt anyone during my life. I am content with why I was born – to not hate.

Why were you born? Was it just to become a killer? Of all the things you could have achieved in life that is what you decided to be. You didn’t have to go down that path. You justified it in your head and heart. It was your choice. What a wasted life.

George Larmour, Author of ‘They Killed the Ice Cream Man’

More from this reporter:

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to newsletter.co.uk and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Ireland and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptionsnow to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Ben Lowry

Acting Editor