Belfast Telegraph

Stanley McCombe: Condemnation
Relatives' fury over event at cemetery

By William Allen
12 April 2004

RELATIVES of victims of the Omagh bomb today voiced outrage at a planned commemoration in Derry by a political group linked to the Real IRA.

The 32 County Sovereignty Movement was due to hold Easter commemorations at Derry's city cemetery this afternoon, where Old Bailey bomber Marian Price was expected to be the main speaker.

It was one of only two such rallies on either side of the border, the other being in Dublin where the main speaker was expected to be former Omagh councillor, Francis Mackey, chairman of the Movement.

Stanley McCombe, whose wife died in the Omagh bomb, today condemned the Derry event, which marks the 88th anniversary of the Easter Rising, and asked why it was allowed to take place on council owned property.

Mr McCombe said: "We broke up a 32 County Sovereignty Movement fundraising event in London a couple of years ago.

"I am horrified and outraged that this has been allowed to happen, and only 30 miles from Omagh.

"This is the political wing of the cowardly b******s who murdered my wife and inflicted so much grief on other families in Omagh.

"I would hope the people of Londonderry would voice their concern at this development. A cemetery is supposed to be a sacred place. This should not be allowed, and I hope the PSNI monitor it closely.

"It's time the Government and PSNI made clear there's no room in society for people like this. But the question is: why did the local council allow it to happen?"

DUP deputy mayor, Mildred Garfield said no one sought Derry City Council's permission.

She added: "If there had been a loyalist or unionist event, there would have certainly been a debate.

"I would have to agree that this council has led the way in Northern Ireland on many issues, including the parades issue. But if we are going to progress, then all council property must become neutral.

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