Black week remembered
The first week in February ten years ago was an awful one, with ten civilians and an IRA Volunteer shot dead and more wounded. In two separate gun attacks in Belfast, one by the UDA, the other by an RUC man, eight people lost their lives. Five Catholics died and many others were injured when a loyalist gang attacked a crowded Sean Graham bookies on the Ormeau Road and three people, two of them Sinn FŽin members, died when an RUC man attacked Sinn FŽin's offices in Sevastopol Street. North Belfast black taxi driver P‡draig î ClŽirigh was shot dead in his home on 2 February and the family of Lisburn Catholic Paul Moran, shot dead on 30 January, laid the 32-year-old victim of loyalists to rest. On 6 February, IRA Volunteer Joe MacManus was shot dead on active service in Fermanagh.
This week, in commemorations in Belfast, the relatives, friends and colleagues of the Ormeau Road and Sevastopol Street massacres gathered to remember their loved ones. Ten years on, those dark days of 1992 are hopefully consigned permanently to the past. The peace process has delivered real change and progress, and there is no going back.
At the same time, however, the UDA is still killing, and nationalists still do not have a policing service they can trust to protect them.
The tenth anniversary of these killings and the 30th anniversary of Bloody Sunday remind us of what has been endured. The dignity of the relatives of the dead, and their determination to achieve truth and justice, continue to inspire us.