16 October 2012
Vigil for murdered Sinn Féin activist at Queen's University
“They feared Sheena because they fear the future”
A vigil will be held outside the gates of Queen's University Belfast at 7.30pm on Tueday night (16 October) to mark the 20th anniversary of the murder of Sinn Féin activist Sheena Campbell.
Sheena, a young mother and student, was shot dead by a lone UVF assassin as she sat with friends in the York Hotel on Botanic Avenue.
The 29-year-old was a determined activist of unsurpassed skill and tenacity, and a woman who consistently managed to do the impossible. The people responsible for her death didn't just want to kill someone. They wanted to kill Sheena Campbell. And it is very unlikely that the UVF acted without the assistance of state forces.
In a crucial by-election in November 1990 Sheena restructured Sinn Féin's entire approach towards elections and election canvassing. The election looked almost impossible for Sinn Féin to win, yet when the results were finally returned, Sinn Féin's Francie Molloy emerged victorious by only six votes.
Sheena's plan later became known as the Torrent strategy, and it changed the way Sinn Féin approached election work forever. The system is still in use today, a lasting legacy of Sheena's insight, commitment and discipline.
Speaking of Sheena, Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams TD said: “I have no doubt that, had she not been killed on that dark day in the autumn of 1992, she would have been one of the prominent leaders of our party. Her contribution to our struggle was immense. She was an activist's activist.
“She was young. She was a woman. She had skills and an abundance of talent. She was the future. That is why she was killed. They feared Sheena because they fear the future.”
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