Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Memorial to Council workers

Last night I attended a ceremony at Belfast City Hall to dedicate a memorial in memory of the Council workers who were murdered during the Troubles.  The memorial takes the form of a fountain in the courtyard of the City Hall and there are also five new trees planted in the courtyard.

As well as councillors and trade unionists there were also relatives of some of the victims although some families found that the memories were still too painful and decided not to attend. Their absence was a salutary rerminder of the daily hurt suffered by the families of the victims.  Before the ceremony those present signed a memorial book and left a comment.  Some folk left longer comments but I simply wrote 'Not forgotten'.

It was therefore a lesson to me when the Lord Mayor read out the names of the 22 workers who had been murdered down through the years and described the circumstances in which they were murdered.  I had remembered the atrocity in Donegall Street, when an IRA car bomb killed several workers, and I had remembered the attack on Council workmen at the Kennedy Way depot in West Belfast.  I could even recall a few more incidents including the murder of workmen at the abbatoir but I soon realised that in spite of writing 'not forgotten' there were those whom I had forgotten.

We do well to remember the terrible damage that terrorism did to our society and the hurt that was caused to some many people by the actions of terrorists and the fountain will serve as a daily reminder to councillors, council staff and members of the public. 

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