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9 August 2001 Edition

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Remembrance Quilt launched at Féile


Most of the squares carry images. Photographs imprinted onto cloth or faces drawn by children of a parent, not forgotten. Some squares carry a piece of significant material taken from a favourite tie, a wedding dress, or a football shirt. Sometimes embroidered, other times printed with names, dates, and messages of affection, kinship and loss. Some of the squares express anger and defiance, demanding truth and justice and some are just sad.

The hall at St. Mary's College on the Falls Road was packed to capacity for the launch of the Remembrance Quilt, initiated by Relatives for Justice and made by the families and friends of many of the victims of state violence. Speaking at the launch, Andrée Murphy of Relatives for Justice described making the quilt as a journey that had been ``wondrous, sorrowful and joyous''.

It had been a journey in which families had come together, shared their pain and anger in a place of safety, said Murphy. For some bereaved family members this had been the first time, sometimes in twenty or even 30 years they had spoken about their loss and grief. The quilt was testimony to decades of pain.

Most of those remembered in the quilt had been killed with impunity, by the state or by loyalists acting as agents of the state. Lies and cover up had followed their deaths. ``The families of those who have been killed need to know the truth and have their loss recognised,'' said Murphy. ``Injustice must also be addressed. This quilt demands no less.''

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