Prison wedding bridges sectarian divide

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The Independent Online
THE MOST bizarre prison wedding seen in Northern Ireland took place yesterday when a convicted republican married a convicted loyalist with a convicted former member of the security forces as a guest.

The three are serving sentences for their part in a total of 19 killings.

The wedding was a very basic affair which was followed by an hour-long reception. Eight guests were allowed. It took place at Maghaberry prison near Belfast, where many of the inmates have severed their paramilitary links.

Over the years a number of imprisoned republicans and loyalists have struck up relationships, but this is the first time a republican inmate has married a loyalist prisoner.

The bride, Anna Moore, is serving a life sentence for multiple murder. She was convicted of killing 11 soldiers and six civilians in the 1982 Irish National Liberation Army bombing of the Droppin' Well public house and disco at Ballykelly, Co Londonderry.

Two of her daughters - who are now free after serving jail sentences - attended the wedding, but most of her family seem to have disapproved of the unorthodox match and stayed away.

The groom was Bobby Corry, a 43-year-old Protestant serving life for a bombing which killed an elderly man at a Belfast pub in 1972. He and Moore began exchanging letters some years ago, and their relationship developed during prison visits.

Both became born-again Christians in jail, and both are divorced after previous marriages.

News of the impending marriage caused much comment in Northern Ireland in recent months, but the tale took a further twist when it was revealed that one of the guests was to be Susan Christie, a former member of the Ulster Defence Regiment serving a sentence for killing the wife of her Army officer lover.

Christie was given a five-year sentence for stabbing Penny McAllister, whose husband Duncan was a captain in the Royal Signals. However, the Attorney-General appealed against the sentence and last November it was increased to nine years.

Christie and Moore have become close in Maghaberry, where the small number of women prisoners mix reasonably freely.

Under prison regulations the reception was an alcohol-free affair and the cake was, for security reasons, provided by the prison authorities rather than being sent in from outside.

Afterwards the newly-weds were returned to their respective cells in different parts of the jail.

(Photographs omitted)