At half past eleven there was a news flash...two bodies had been found and I knew in my heart...I knew it was my two sons....I just couldn't think that my sons were never going to walk into my house again. At times I never want to leave my house because I can walk into their bedrooms and feel near to them. I still say goodnight to them and God bless...I felt like running out into the middle of the road and shouting "For God's sake stop it - it's senseless."
Father Edward Daly, witness of "Bloody Sunday", Derry, 1972
Alarm grew when the armoured car kept coming on. It suddenly dawned on people that this was something different. I remember a young boy laughing at me. I'm not a very graceful runner - that was the only reason I could think he was laughing. He was very cheery... The next thing he suddenly gasped and threw his hands up in the air and fell on his face... There was a terrible lot of blood. We pulled up his jersey and there was a massive bloody hole.... He asked me, "Am I going to die?" and I said "No", but I administered the last rites. The gunfire started up again and a bullet struck quite close to me. I lay flat and remember trying to talk to the wounded lad and calm him. He was getting confused and I can remember him holding my hand and squeezing it. We all wept... We got him to the top of the street. I kneeled beside him and told him, "Look son, we've got you out." But he was dead. He was very youthful looking, just in his seventeenth year but only looked about twelve... He had a baby face...
Rev Joseph Parker, Father of a boy killed by an IRA bomb in 1972
When I got to the mortuary I knew there was a boy, the body of a boy there. I looked immediately for someone with fair hair. I was somewhat relieved when the hair was dark, but, of course, it was singed and burnt dark with the heat of the explosion. I thought immediately, though: it's not Stephen. And then I looked again. I recognised the shirt as similar to the one Stephen had been wearing, but again it had been affected by the explosion. The belt was a Scout belt: he was a Scout, and a few days before he had put those studs all round the belt and stood there getting me to admire them. I asked one of the men to look in the pockets, I wanted to be sure. Anyway, he looked in the pockets and found this box of matches - trick matches that Stephen had used that evening before to fool me... Then I knew it was Stephen.
Margaret Graham, mother of a man murdered by the IRA. August 1998
I wonder would President Clinton like the bombers in Africa entertained in his government? I think not, yet it is OK for terrorists here to enter our government. I find it all obscene and the people who organise all this are no better than the murderers themselves. As for Mo Mowlam I think that woman is amoral because she does not appear to know the difference between right and wrong. There are few people of integrity left in this land. ... My son's killers may never be caught because it does not appear politically correct to catch them at the moment.
See also: the victims describe the Omagh Massacre