I watched the programme presented by Patrick Kielty (BBC One, April 4) about his own experiences following the murder of his father, and found him to be refreshingly honest, with an abundance of common sense.
At 19 year of age I also lost my own father, a serving RUC officer, murdered by the republican movement (PIRA/SF) in 1975, during their sectarian murder campaign, euphemistically referred to as ‘The Troubles’.
I fully empathise with Patrick’s attitude of non-forgiveness as I do not forgive those who murdered my father who was 45 years of age, leaving a wife and four sons.
I do not want to be reconciled with them nor do I pray for them as other victims have claimed down the years. Forgiveness is not within my gift and is between them and their God.
Like Patrick and many other I also sucked it up and got on with my life. I did not seek revenge but got on with my life without hatred which would have consumed me like a cancer over the past 43 years.
It was no surprise to hear PIRA commander Seanna Walsh state he was proud of having been involved in the struggle with no regrets. He joined the Provos because soldiers carried out early morning searches where he would fight with them, sounds like really valid justification for wanting to kill another human being — not.
Indeed any Provo who has openly spoken of their past activities all claim to be very proud with no regrets. Remember Mr McGuinness, he claimed in court that he was very, very proud with no regrets, and more recently Mr McClenaghan (Victims and Survivors Forum) who is proud with no regrets.
The exception to that stance is Mr Adams who claims he knows nothing, but I suspect behind his grinning facade he too is proud with no regrets about his past.
Personally I viewed the Good Friday Agreement as a foundation stone with potential to build a strong secure structure, but 20 years on that structure has not even reached the first fix stage with no prospect of ever getting a roof on.
I believe I will not see true peace in my life time given the mind set of being ‘proud with no regrets’, nor will many generations to come given the open display of venom and hatred towards police in Creggan recently, in the 21st century.
I do not believe there is any realistic prospect of justice ever being done for victims like myself and Patrick, but again I sucked it up and live with it.
I believe true peace will only take seed when this society allows the children to go to school together to receive an unbiased education without the influence of corrupt Godfathers, of whatever ilk, slinking in the shadows.
Until that day comes about I believe the very best anyone can hope for during their tiny blink of a life span is to ‘agree to differ and leave each other alone’, getting on with life without fear of being murdered for some unjustifiable cause or reason.
David Love, Limavady