Innocent Victims United, an umbrella organisation for 23 groups with combined membership of over 11,500 victims and survivors (with members from across Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Great Britain and Mainland Europe) has issued a statement in which it expressed its’ solidarity with the victims of the Texas Church massacre – where 26 innocents perished at the hands of a lone gunman aged between 5 and 72 years.
In a statement Kenny Donaldson of IVU stated: “IVU’s thoughts and prayers are with the community of First Baptist Church, Sutherland Springs in Texas, and particularly the families of the 26 innocents who were murdered and all others who were injured as a result of the attack. Rightly the World has expressed its’ shock and revulsion at what has happened. This was a brutal attack upon a group of defenceless God fearing and God loving people”.
“In Northern Ireland there is special significance because in this place we had our own South Carolina massacre. On 20th November 1983 INLA terrorists attacked a church service at Mountain Lodge Pentecostal Church near Darkley in the heart of South Armagh. At the time there were about sixty people inside the small wooden building. Three members of the church were shot dead as they stood outside the entrance; they were Protestant civilians Harold Brown (59), David Wilson (44) and Victor Cunningham (39) – their crime was being Christian and Protestant”.
“Seven others were injured in the premeditated, sectarian attack. The congregation were singing the hymn; ‘Are You Washed in the Blood of the Lamb,’ as terrorists sprayed gunfire. The World should continue to feel revulsion at what happened in Darkley which was a horrific crime against a Christian and Peace loving Church community”.
“The events in Sutherland Springs, Texas will be weighing on the hearts and minds of those caught up in Darkley and their surviving families, our prayers are also with those so affected,” concluded Mr Donaldson.