WREATHS were laid at a council cleansing facility in west Belfast yesterday in memory of two workers murdered by loyalist gunmen at the site 20 years ago.
Family, friends and colleagues of mark Rodgers and James Cameron came together at the Kennedy Way depot for the short service. Mr Cameron (54), a father-of-three from Conor Rise, and mark Rodgers (28), a father-of-two from Falcarragh Drive, both in Lendaoon, were at work when two men attacked them shortly after 7.30am on October 26 1993. Around 60 shots were fired by the loyalists, who were dressed as council workers and armed with a rifle and a machine gun.
Five other workers were wounded in the shooting carried out three days after the IRA bombing of Frizzell's fish shop on Shankill Road which claimed the lives of nine people and one of the bombers.
During yesterday's ceremony loved ones of those murdered laid wreaths. Among them was annette Rodgers (82) who said the pain of losing her son mark "never goes away". Mrs Rodgers, who said she keeps a photo of mark in "every room", said her grief has been "awful" but she has forgiven those responsible.
"it never enters my head at all, just mark does," she said.
Mr Cameron's wife Margaret said his death had been "devastating".
"it was such a waste of life," she said.
"The tragedy of it never leaves your mind. It just left a hole in the family that can never be replaced." Mrs Cameron appealed to those involved still in violence, saying: "People just want to live in peace." A short time before the service a separate ceremony took place at the city hall. SIPTU president Jack O'Connor laid a wreath at the Workers memorial Fountain in memory of the two workers and a minute's silence was observed.
He told those gathered that it was a "small gesture of affection" to remember James Cameron and mark Rodgers and "all the events that happened in the city 20 years ago this week".
PICTURE: Cliff Donaldson
* TRIBUTE: Trade unionists and council workers gather at Belfast City Hall yesterday to remember the murders 20 years ago of James Cameron and Mark Rodgers who were shot dead at the council depot on Kennedy Way in the days following the Shankill bombing
* BRUTAL ATTACK: Left, the scene of the shooting. Above, Mark Rodgers, one of the two men murdered