Son of Irish soldier murdered by IRA among the speakers at Stormont event

Stormont will host the victims of terrorism event for the first time
Stormont will host the victims of terrorism event for the first time

Three victims of terrorism, each from different community backgrounds, will speak at a European remembrance event at Stormont today.

Organised by TUV leader Jim Allister, the European Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Terrorism event at Stormont will hear from David Kelly, son of an Irish Army private killed by the IRA, Noel Downey who was seriously injured in a car bomb attack in 1990, and Mark Rodgers, whose father was murdered by the UFF in 1993.

David Kelly’s father Patrick was a private in the Irish Defence Forces. On December 16, 1983, Private Kelly was murdered without warning by an IRA murder-kidnap gang in Derrada Wood, Ballinamore, Co Leitrim at the age of 36.

Also killed in the attack was Recruit Garda, Gary Sheehan, aged 23.

The double murder of two members of the Irish security forces during the search and rescue of kidnapped businessman Don Tidey, shocked the Irish Republic. It was also the first time a member of the Irish Army had been killed in a hostile act at home since the Irish Civil War of the early 1920s.

Speaking at the event alongside Mr Kelly will be Mr Downey. He was seriously injured in a car bomb explosion on June 10, 1990. Noel was a 26-year-old part-time member of the Ulster Defence Regiment who was off duty at the time of the attack in Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh.

He lost his left leg in the explosion and sustained serious injuries to the entire left side of his body, including his hand and back.

Another to speak at the event will be Mr Rodgers, whose father, also named Mark, was murdered along with another civilian, James Cameron, at the council depot on Kennedy Way, Belfast where both men worked. The double murder was committed by the UFF on October 26, 1993. Five other civilians were wounded in the attack.

TUV leader Jim Allister said: “This year again, we have a good cross section of innocent victims who suffered at the hands of terrorism of various shades. That is what this event is about – giving voice to innocent victims of terrorism as opposed to the normal attention that’s given to the victim makers.”