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Thursday, 13 January, 2000, 13:58 GMT
'No revenge' plea as UVF man buried

Richard Jameson's widow (left) follows his coffin Richard Jameson's widow (left) follows his coffin


A clergyman at the funeral of murder victim Richard Jameson has warned against any form of revenge for the killing.

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Reverend David Hilliard was speaking during a service at Tartaraghan Parish Church, outside Portadown in County Armagh on Thursday afternoon.

It is estimated that several thousand mourners attended the funeral.

Mr Jameson, 46, was shot dead outside his Portadown home on Monday night.

Security sources said he was the leader of the largest loyalist paramilitary group, the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), in the Portadown area, a claim strongly denied by his family.

Politicians including Progressive Unionist Party assembly members David Ervine and Billy Hutchinson, whose party speaks for the UVF, attended the funeral.

Also present was Gary McMichael, leader of the Ulster Democratic Party, which represents the paramilitary UDA, and a number of members of the Ulster Unionist Party and Democratic Unionist Party from the Portadown area.

During the funeral service, Mr Hilliard said there was a sense of "numbness and disbelief" that Mr Jameson, a "man admired and loved by many", had been so "cruelly murdered".


Richard Jameson was shot at his Portadown home Richard Jameson: Shot dead
"Perhaps we may wonder whether any words can describe our feelings or touch us with healing or arouse within us any hope for the days that lie ahead.

"We also share a certain amount of fear and worry about the future of this community and of this province."

Mr Hilliard acknowledged there was a desire for justice, but said vengeance "must be left to God".

He said: "There is an old Chinese proverb: Whoever opts for revenge should dig two graves.

"In other words, whoever opts for revenge ends up destroying not only the perpetrator but themselves as well in the process."



Whoever opts for revenge ends up destroying not only the perpetrator but themselves as well in the process."
Rev David Hilliard
He went on to say that only forgiveness would allow people to lay aside such a desire and lead to eventual peace and happiness.

Dissident loyalists have been blamed for the killing amid speculation that Mr Jameson was the victim of a feud between rival paramilitary factions.

There has been a bitter dispute between the UVF and the smaller, splinter group the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) in the area for some years.

However, on Wednesday night the LVF said none of its members was involved in the murder.

Both groups have declared ceasefires and are currently having prisoners freed from the Maze Prison under the early release scheme.

But the murder has raised tensions in the Portadown area and there are fears of a revenge attack.

Mr Jameson is believed to have been one of 12 people injured when tension between UVF and LVF supporters erupted into trouble at the end of a football match at Shamrock Park Social Club in Portadown, just after Christmas.

The Royal Ulster Constabulary is still investigating the murder and a number of people are being questioned. Police have refused to comment on the LVF statement.

Mr Jameson is being buried in the churchyard beside Tartaraghan Parish Church.

He is survived by his wife Moira and children Glen, Wayne and Kirsty.
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See also:
11 Jan 00 |  Northern Ireland
Murder as loyalist feud boils over
10 Jan 00 |  Northern Ireland
Police hunt loyalist's killer
28 Dec 99 |  Northern Ireland
Loyalist tension blamed for violence
11 Jan 00 |  Northern Ireland
Arrests made after killing

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