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Tuesday, 18 February, 2003, 09:24 GMT
La Mon bomb victims remembered
Twelve people were murdered in the La Mon attack
Twelve people were murdered in the La Mon attack
Twelve victims of an IRA bombing on the outskirts of Belfast 25 years ago are being remembered on Monday.

The bomb attack on La Mon House hotel on 17 February 1978 was one of the worst atrocities of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

A special service to remember the victims was held in east Belfast on Sunday.

Survivors of the attack joined friends and relatives at the service at St Finnian's Parish Church in Castlereagh.

Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams rejected claims he was involved

The order of service closely followed a previous memorial service held for the victims at St Finnian's on 26 February, 1978.

Family members laid a lily for each of the victims in a special wreath.

People travelled from all over the United Kingdom and Ireland for the moving ceremony.

All those who died were attending the annual dinner dance of the Irish Collie Club. Three of them were married couples and seven were women.

They were all Protestants and included a reservist in the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

More than 400 people were in the La Mon that Friday night, at functions being run by the Collie Club and the Northern Ireland Junior Motorcycle Club.

Outside the function room where collie club members were sitting down to their meal, IRA activists had left a blast incendiary bomb on window grills.

On detonation, the blast sent a huge ball of flame across the room.

Inquiry call

On Friday, Northern Ireland Office Minister Des Browne rejected a call for a full independent investigation into the 1978 atrocity.

The DUP's Strangford MP, Iris Robinson, called for an inquiry after she said Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams had been involved in the IRA bombing.

She used parliamentary privilege to make the claim in the House of Commons on Thursday.

Gerry Adams rejected the claim. He said the remarks were made to deflect attention away from developments in the Stevens Inquiry into alleged collusion between the security forces and loyalist paramilitaries.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC NI's Maggie Swarbrick:
"Twelve people died in the bombing, five men and seven women"
BBC NI's Tara Mills:
"The pictures were all too real for those dealing with the victims"

Find out more about the IRA's history and watch archive BBC footage
See also:

13 Feb 03 | N Ireland
14 Feb 03 | N Ireland
16 Feb 03 | N Ireland
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