McDonald among readers of North dead


SINN FÉIN deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald will be among the participants in the annual reading of the names of all the victims of the Northern Ireland Troubles in Dublin today.

The Dublin MEP will join the congregation of the Dublin Unitarian Church in St Stephen’s Green, where the list of more than 3,500 people who have died as a result of the conflict will be read out.

Prominent Catholic and Church of Ireland clergy, Mgr Tom Stack and Canon Patrick Comerford, will also take part. The DUP, partners of Sinn Féin in the powersharing administration at Stormont, declined an invitation.

This annual act of commemoration, now in its ninth year, is believed to be the only religious service of its kind in Ireland. The solemn reading of the names begins at noon, continuing until after 3pm. Ms McDonald is scheduled to read for 20 minutes.

Noting that Sinn Féin had distanced itself from the recent violent activities, Unitarian minister the Rev Bill Darlison said: “Whoever wishes to come and to read will be demonstrating their commitment to peace.”

Ms McDonald said: “It’s important to remember everybody who lost their lives in the course of the conflict. Remembrance is important also because the peace process has transformed Ireland.”

A statement from the organisers said: “This reading of the names illustrates powerfully the terrible, random nature of death in war and civil conflict.”