Last night, Relatives for Justice staff were privileged to attend the 25th anniversary mass to remember Charlie and Tess Fox, killed in the Moy in 1992.
Father Benny Fee, a member of the extended Fox family, gave a beautiful sermon asking the assembled family and their friends who packed the church in the Moy to pray for not only Tess and Charlie and the Fox family but also for the killers and their families.
Evoking Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice Father Fee said:
“Dear people if they ask you what did the priest say tell them he said this, if you tickle us don’t we laugh? If you prick us do we not bleed? Do we not have the same organs and same senses? Do we not eat the same food? Do we need breathe the same air?
“We all have humanity. If we remove humanity what do we have?
“Those who came with warped minds and violent hands didn’t extend humanity to Charlie and Tess as they gunned them down on that dark night 25 years ago.
“In the house of God tonight we pray for them.
“What are their children and grandchildren doing now? We pray for them too.
“The Fox family have fought an admirable campaign, against the odds, to bring to justice those responsible, who should be convicted for what they did, who should face justice for what they did. We pray for them and their souls.”
In an emotive and moving tribute by the family, and extended family, the children of Tess and Charlie, their 18 grandchildren, and their great grandchildren, offered prayers for peace, that there is never recurrence of such violence again. In this beautiful service, despite the unimaginable loss endured, their generosity in remembering all victims of the conflict was really remarkable, yet not unique in the constituency of families affected by state and state sponsored violence.
Mark Thompson who attended the Mass, which heard beautiful music by Comhaltas, said tonight,
“RFJ and our staff who attended this evening were humbled and privileged to witness such great character and generosity extended to all victims of conflict.
“Tess and Charlie’s daughter Bernie’s husband Kevin McKearney was also remembered last night. He was killed with Jack McKearney in 1992 also. Bernie’s children lost their father, two uncles, a great uncle and their grandparents in our conflict. It is unimaginable hurt to have endured, and yet their message tonight was of peace, healing and generosity. When people who have experienced so much pain remember everyone else’s loss without demeaning or judgment it is a lesson to us all.
“In the search for truth and accountability it was important to witness families standing together with such positive messages of healing. Truth and accountability contribute to healing. Families standing up for their loved ones and their right to truth, makes the task of those who seek to cover up and bury the truth more difficult. Carrying themselves with great dignity the Fox family continue to stand for truth and justice for their parents.”