Husband of Shankill bomb victim tells of letter to Adams

A man who lost his young wife in the slaughter of the IRA Shankill bombing 16 years ago has spoken about how he “made his peace” with Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.

Alan McBride, whose wife Sharon and father-in-law John Frizzell were among those killed in the blast, was in the audience as decommissioning witness Reverend Harold Good delivered a lecture on Hearts and Minds at the West Belfast Festival.



The Sinn Fein leader, who heard the former Methodist president call for a Day of Acknowledgement to address the hurts of conflict, also attended the event.



Mr McBride and Mr Adams, who was a pallbearer at Shankill bomber Thomas Begley’s funeral after the IRA man was killed by his own bomb alongside nine others, have never spoken but they have written to each other.



Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Mr McBride said: “Whenever the Shankill bomber (Thomas Begley) was buried and Gerry Adams carried the coffin I found that very difficult.”



He then described his “very personal campaign” against the Sinn Fein leader in the years after the explosion, before saying: “I made my peace with Gerry Adams some years ago.”



Mr McBride, who now works for victims’ group WAVE, wrote to the Sinn Fein president in 2007.



He could not recall whether it was immediately after the funeral of loyalist political leader David Ervine or after Martin McGuinness and Ian Paisley entered government.



“David Ervine’s funeral was very important to me. I thought we are so close,” Mr McBride said.



He was talking about the significance of Mr Adams and others attending that funeral, and how close he thought Northern Ireland was to peace after the many years of violence in the country.



“I wrote a letter to Gerry Adams basically just acknowledging his journey. I firmly believe he is totally committed to peace-building,” Mr McBride said.



He revealed that the Sinn Fein president wrote back — a handwritten letter — asking if they could meet.



That has not yet happened, but Mr McBride said he “nearly did it” at Sunday’s West Belfast Festival event.



“I think dialogue is always important,” he told this newspaper, but “sometimes I wonder, are we only preaching to the converted?”



“I do work with a number of folk who lost loved ones,” he added.



“For them it sometimes feels the guys who carried out the atrocities are remarketing themselves.



“There are a number of folk who are feeling increasingly isolated,” he said.



As for a meeting with Gerry Adams, Mr McBride believes that could still happen “because of the letter”, that handwritten note from the Sinn Fein president which he has kept.

* Source: The Belfast Telegraph.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
filmIdris Elba responds to James Bond rumours on Twitter
News
Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Panel & Cabinet Wireman

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...

Recruitment Genius: Electronics Test Engineer

£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Assistant

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have previous experience...

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015