Sir, - On Friday, July 21st, 1972, the IRA planted a large number of bombs in Belfast. Nine innocent people lost their lives and hundreds were injured in the carnage that followed. It became known as Bloody Friday.
One of the bombs exploded outside a shopping centre on the Cavehill Road, killing three people. One of the victims was a 14-year-old boy called Stephen Parker. He was my cousin. Stephen's father was a Church of Ireland clergyman, Rev Joe Parker, who originally hailed from Kilkenny but lived and worked in Belfast.
After Stephen's death, Joe Parker spoke publicly about how he and his family forgave the IRA bomber who killed their beloved son. He preached peace and reconciliation. He hoped Stephen's death would not be in vain. Over the years so many courageous people from all sides who have lost loved ones as a result of the troubles have spoken with the same dignity and sense of forgiveness.
July 21st was the 25th anniversary of Bloody Friday. For the relatives and friends of the victims of Bloody Friday it was a sad day of reflection on the memories of loved ones killed as a result of the needless violence that has achieved no positive end. - Yours, etc.,
Alan Moody, Dundrum, Dublin 14.