Solidarity and Courage in Derry

Six men were killed in Loughinisland on 18th June 1994

For some families violently bereaved during our conflict the overwhelming isolation which came after an event became one of the most difficult issues to live with.

For some families it was an isolation because of the actual experience, for others it was the geographic isolation. For many it was a combination of both.

One of the main objectives when Relatives for Justice was set up 20 years go this year was to end the isolation of families. Just knowing that the person you are speaking to understands  because they too have been through the unique experience of conflict related bereavement can assist many families and individuals. For those who had the added dimension of State violence or collusion this was particularly important.  Sometimes that is unspoken, it is just understood and that quiet acceptance and acknowledgement can begin a healing and coping process.

Today Relatives for Justice and the families affected by the Loughinisland massacre in June 1994 and their solicitor Niall Murphy, are in Derry meeting the Bloody Sunday families. On a bus from County Down up to the Bloody Sunday Museum and then to meet the families this simple exchange of solidarity and support speaks to us all of the support and courage that families with similar experiences can share. It is what Relatives for Justice has always been about.