Begley parents 'unaware' of plaque plan

Published Saturday, 12 October 2013
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The father of Shankill bomber Thomas Begley has said he is unaware of the details of a commemoration in which a plaque to the IRA member will be unveiled ahead of the 20th anniversary of the atrocity.

Begley parents 'unaware' of plaque plan
Nine civilians were killed in the bombing. (© Pacemaker)

Speaking to the press on Friday, Billy Begley, who still lives in north Belfast, said to his knowledge, the event planned for next Saturday near his home is going ahead.

He said the family would mark the anniversary "in our own way" and that they would have preferred a private memorial.

A leaflet which has been circulated, featuring an image of gunmen firing into the air, says that "friends, family and comrades" will host the event.

Nine civilians, including two children, were killed in the blast at the shop in October 1993. Begley was also killed when the bomb exploded prematurely.

The IRA said the intended target was a flat above the shop where loyalist paramilitaries were expected to gather, but the meeting did not go ahead.

Mr Begley told the Belfast Telegraph Begley's mother Sadie didn't want a plaque erected.

He added that the family had nothing to do with organising the event or putting together the leaflet publicising it.

"It's only a commemorative plaque - we're not glorifying the bomb," he added.

"There is no way we're glorifying it. We feel sorry for the people who were killed. There's no bands or anything."

Mr Begley said he would have prevented his son from taking part in the bombing if he had known of his plans.

"If I'd known that day, I'd have chained him to the bed," he told the paper.

"He was a good lad, he just got involved and that was it."

© UTV News
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7 Comments
Stoppit! in Belfast wrote (310 days ago):
I think Mrs Begley's wishes should be respected. I feel sorry for the parents but not him and certainly not what he did. No good can come of this constant salt rubbing into deep wounds. Where else in the world would this even be considered? Shall we pop a plaque up to Al Queda for their 9/11 slaughter of innocents too?
desmond wonnacott in facebook wrote (311 days ago):
At last the parents of the bomber speak. I can truly feel for them in their loss, thank you for speaking out. The I R A are friends of no one regardless of the name they are using.
madness in all round wrote (312 days ago):
Thomas Begley's actions were not those of someone dedicated to some humanitarian cause without prejudice, but were the actions of someone who set out to cause carnage and mayhem without care for the innocent.The desperation of the republican movement to hold these events is for no other purpose than to try and legitimize their continued existence in a society desperate to be rid of them.We should take note of the non existence of condemnation from SF and their supporters for what happened and be sure there will be those who will attempt to justify it or make excuses for it.People should be shouting loudly for the innocent victims and not for those who created innocent victims.
Eamo in Belfast wrote (312 days ago):
This should be a private thing for the family only. There should be noone hijacking the grief this family has. Yes it was terrible that so msny innocents died and they should not have, but this family are gieving too.
Mark in North Belfast wrote (312 days ago):
he was a good lad Mr Begley? good lads dont murder 9 innoccent people including 2 children! he was the scum off the earth and its disgusting that anyone should comerate his death. Thomas Begley had a choice, the 9 victims never had a choice.
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