On Good Friday (April 3rd) at 12 midday, the members of Cork Unitarian Church join the Dublin Church in a service to commemorate the more than 3,500 people who have died as a result of the conflict in Northern Ireland.
Members of the public are warmly welcomed to attend this service, at which the names of all those who died in the Northern conflict are read from the pulpit by members of the congregation. People wishing to hear the readings are welcome at any time between 12 and 3pm and can drop in and out as they please.
Starting at midday, church members will solemnly read out the names of the dead, starting alphabetically with Anthony Abbott, a solder from Manchester shot dead by the IRA in Ardoyne in North Belfast in 1976, and at around 3pm they will finish with William and Letitia Younger, an elderly protestant man and his daughter, who were stabbed and shot by intruders in their home in Ligoniel in 1980. Chronologically, the sad litany will start in 1966 with John Patrick Scullion, a Catholic store man shot by the UVF in Belfast, and will end 46 years later in November 2012 with the murder of prison officer David Black by dissident republicans.
This reading of names illustrates powerfully the terrible, random nature of death in war and civil conflict. All human life and death is in this mournful list: British soldiers, IRA volunteers, loyalist paramilitaries, policemen and women, Gardaí, part-time UDR men, prison officers, civil rights marchers, judges, businessmen, farmers, taxi drivers, social workers, children of all ages, people killed walking home from the pub, while watching football on the television, while attending church; people killed on trains, out walking and shopping and visiting in London and Birmingham, Dublin and Monaghan, Belfast and Derry and Omagh and a score of other Northern Irish towns and villages.
The litany will occasionally be interrupted by prayers.