Family and colleagues remember murdered Council workers on their 20th anniversary

A minute’s silence held at City Hall

By Ciara Quinn

A minute’s silence was observed on Friday morning by Belfast City Council staff at  City Hall to mark the 20th anniversary of the murders of West Belfast Council workers James Cameron and Mark Rodgers.

54-year-old father-of-three James Cameron and 28-year-old father-of-two Mark Rodgers were shot and killed at the Kennedy Way cleansing depot just before 7.30am on October 26 1993 by the UFF. Five other workers were wounded in the attack as the gunmen, dressed as Council workers, sprayed the yard with up to 60 bullets.

A wreath was laid by SIPTU President Jack O’Connor at the Workers’ Memorial Fountain in the grounds of the City Hall. Mr O’Connor said the wreath was “a small gesture of reflection on 20 years ago as we pay our respects to James Cameron and Mark Rodgers.”

“The families of these men, friends and fellow union members were all affected that day,” he added. “As we pay tribute to these men, we say what happened 20 years ago must never, ever happen again.”

Later, a commemorative service for the families of James and Mark was held inside the cleansing depot.

Mr Cameron’s son, Colum, who was 12 when his father was killed, spoke of how  “nothing was gained” by the slaughter.

“I don’t feel bitterness against the people that did it but I do hope for justice some day, as these people still walk the streets,” he said.

“Twenty years ago our life changed dramatically. They didn’t just take a person that morning, they took a father, a husband, a brother and a son. Our family will never be the same. There was a hole left when my father was killed and that can never be replaced.”

Mr Rodgers’ sister Connie said it was important that the memorial event was held at the scene.

“It’s very sad to be here today, but I think it needed to be done. I think the men in Kennedy Way had to be remembered,” she said.

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