13 Feb – Words of Welcome – Disappeared Service

SERVICE FOR THE DISAPPEARED AND THEIR FAMILIES
ST PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL, ARMAGH
SUNDAY, 13 FEBRUARY, 2000, 3.00PM
ORGANISED BY WAVE
WORDS OF WELCOME BY
MOST REV. SEÁN BRADY, DCL,
ARCHBISHOP OF ARMAGH

I welcome you all here today to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh. I welcome very especially the members here present of the families of the Disappeared:
Jean McConville
Seamus Ruddy
Seamus Wright
Kevin McKee
Gerard Evans
Charlie Armstrong
Danny McIlhone
Columba McVeigh
Brendan Megraw
Captain Robert Niarac
John McIlroy.
Seamus Wright

I welcome their friends and all who have come to support them. I welcome Cardinal Daly and all the public, diplomatic and religious representatives from North and South. I welcome His Excellency, Mr Michael Sullivan, Ambassador of the United States of America to Ireland and Ms Ki Fort, US Consul in Belfast. I welcome Mr Adam Ingram, MP, Northern Ireland Office, Mr Séamus Mallon, MP, Mr David Trimble, MP, Mr John Taylor, MP, Ms Helen Jackson, MP, and the many other political representatives here present. I welcome the Joint Commissioners for Location of Victims’ Remains, Sir Kenneth Bloomfield and Mr John Wilson. I welcome the representatives of the Taoiseach’s Office, Mr Billy Stevenson of the Victims Liaison Unit, NIO, and Professor Jean Orr. I welcome Cllr Thomas Canavan, Mayor of Armagh, Cllr Dolores Kelly, Mayor of Craigavon and Cllr McKendry, Chairman of Magherafelt District Council. I welcome Rev. David Clements and all the representatives of the Protestant Churches.

We have come to pray. We have come to turn our hearts and minds to God, the God of all consolation, the God who comforts us in all our sorrows. We have come to listen to God’s word so that we may get from it strength and hope for the future. We come to pray for guidance in the search for the location of the remains of victims. We pray for the victims that they may be safe with the Lord in his eternal glory. We pray for all who are engaged in the search for a lasting and genuine peace.

We thank God that three bodies have already been recovered, those of Brian McKinney, John McClory and Eamon Molloy, and we welcome their families here today. We thank God for all those who work for the care and support of people bereaved and traumatised through the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

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