Relatives of victims of IRA violence divided by Martin McGuinness's legacy - The Irish News
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Relatives of victims of IRA violence divided by Martin McGuinness's legacy

Alan McBride, whose wife Sharon was killed in the Shankill bombing in 1993, said Mr McGuinness's fingerprints were "all over the Troubles but they are also all over the peace process". Picture by Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker

VICTIMS' groups and relatives of those killed by IRA violence were divided in their reactions to Martin McGuinness's legacy following his death.

Alan McBride, whose wife Sharon was among nine people killed by the IRA in the Shankill Road bombing in 1993, said that Mr McGuinness's fingerprints were "all over the Troubles but they are also all over the peace process."

Mr McBride, who works for the WAVE Trauma Centre, said he would "give anything to go back" to the power-sharing government headed by Ian Paisley and Mr McGuinness, describing it as a period when "we seemed to be in a much better place".

Jo Berry, who lost her father, the Conservative MP Sir Anthony Berry, in the Brighton bomb in 1983, also praised the former deputy first minister and criticised Lord Norman Tebbit, who said the world was a "sweeter and cleaner place" following the death.

In a tweet, Ms Berry said that Lord Tebbit, whose wife was left paralysed by the Brighton bomb, was "not speaking for all", adding: "I value Martin McGuinness as inspiring example of peace and reconciliation."

However, others who also lost family members in IRA attacks took a more sceptical view of Mr McGuinness's efforts to promote the peace process.

Aileen Quinton, whose mother Alberta was killed in the Enniskillen bombing in 1987, said it was a day to "remember the innocent victims" and added that she considered Mr McGuinness as "morally associated with all that his crew did".

"We do not know what deathbed confessions there may have been or if repentance came into play in his final hours but bar that possibility, his evil was not distant past, his evil continued," she wrote on Facebook.

Ms Quinton added: "This is the man who is being eulogised without explicit reference to his evil and his victims."

Stephen Gault, who was 18 when he was injured in Enniskillen and who lost his father in the bombing, sent a tweet to Jo Berry to state that Lord Tebbit "certainly speaks for me".

He said: "If he had been repentant my thoughts might have been slightly different. But he took to his grave proud that he served in the IRA."

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