28 May 1998 Edition

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Memorial restored

``Carol Ann Kelly died on 22 May 1981. On 22 May this year nationalists voted in the referendum. They voted for change. An end to conflict and an end to discrimination, inequality and injustice'' - Sinn Fein councillor Paul Butler.

On Sunday, speaking at the re-dedication of the memorial to schoolgirl Carol Ann Kelly, Paul Butler called on the British government to recognise that those killed by the state ``have the right to truth about what happened to their loved ones''.

``The British government must acknowledge the hurt and pain that they have caused to the Kelly family and to all the families of state violence,'' he said.

Carol Ann Kelly was 12 years old when she was shot in the head with a plastic bullet fired by a British soldier. She was walking back from a house shop no more than 100 yards from her home with a pint of milk for her mother. She was less than 20 yards from her front door when a British soldier, about 15 yards away, aimed and shot her in the head. She died three days later.

``I'm going to move back into the front room,'' Carol Ann's mother Eileen told An Phoblacht, ``to look after the monument. I used to sleep there but couldn't bear to stay there after Carol Ann was killed.''

About 100 residents and neighbours gathered at the little grass hillock outside the Kelly home as the new memorial was rededicated. The original was destroyed by vandals at the end of April. It is an indication of the value with which local people view the monument that they collected enough money to have the new memorial erected for Carol Ann's anniversary.

``The memorial was destroyed in a hateful act of vandalism,'' said Paul Butler.

However, there is a far more despicable act of vandalism being perpetrated against the memory of Carol Ann, and all those like her, the victims of state violence, and their families. In the current rush to remember the `victims' of the past 30 years nationalists killed by the British state are being discarded in a wanton act of political vandalism. This memorial, in remembering Carol Ann, defies the selective amnesia presently being indulged in by the media.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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