IRA gun victim buried on birthday

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The Independent Online
The IRA murder of a young soldier should act as a "catalyst to restart the peace process", the congregation at his funeral was told yesterday.

Lance Bombardier Stephen Restorick, of the 3rd Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery, who was shot dead by a sniper at an Army checkpoint in South Armagh, was buried on what would have been his 24th birthday.

The service, at Peterborough Crematorium, Cambridgeshire, was attended by the local MP and Conservative Party chairman, Brian Mawhinney, and the Irish Ambassador to London, Edward Barrington.

Two Ulster Unionist councillors and more than 200 family, friends and colleagues were also there to bid farewell to the young soldier. Well- wishers outside listened on loudspeakers as a Humanist minister, John Pearce, said his death had touched the hearts of many people across the British Isles. "We have to hope that his death will be a catalyst to restart the peace process and bring both sides together to talk," Mr Pearce said.

The soldier, whose family live in Peterborough, died on 12 February, during his second tour of duty in Northern Ireland, from a single shot which narrowly missed his bulletproof vest.

Marjorie Mowlam, page 15