Page last updated at 10:24 GMT, Thursday, 3 May 2007 11:24 UK

Pain of UVF victims' families

By Tara Mills
BBC Newsline

Peter Ward
Peter Ward: second victim of Troubles

Mary Ward remembers the night her son Peter was shot dead as if it was yesterday.

It was, in fact, 40 years ago.

Peter was 18 when he was murdered. The second victim of the Troubles.

He was a barman at the International Hotel and had left work with two colleagues for a late night drink.

He was from the Falls Road, the bar was off the Shankill Road.

"He didn't like that bar as soon as he got there" said Mrs Ward, 86.

"He told the fellas he was with that he wanted to leave. That's when the UVF barred the door and my Peter was shot."

There's times I just sit in the house at night crying about him
Mary Ward

Former UVF leader Gusty Spence was one of the gang and he was later convicted of the murder.

Mrs Ward continued:"I've never got over Peter. It's an awful thing. I know thousands of people have gone through what I've gone through.

"There's times I just sit in the house at night crying about him.

"I have a photo of him and I just sit looking at it."

Mary Ward
Mrs Ward welcomes the statement

Mrs Ward welcomes the UVF statement but would have preferred some movement on decommissioning.

She said: "I'll be very, very glad that I'll not be hearing any more of this murdering affair.

"I want peace in this country like everyone else wants peace."

Almost 30 years after Peter died Gusty Spence contacted Mrs Ward asking for her forgiveness.

The paramilitary leader said he wanted to bring peace to Northern Ireland.

"I told him that would be very difficult for me, but if he was working for peace I was prepared to do it," said Mrs Ward.

In another part of the city another family digests the UVF statement.

Sean Campbell
Sean Campbell was just 19 when blown up

Michael Campbell lost three members of his family to the UVF.

His brother Sean was 19 when he was blown up by a bomb in Ardoyne in April 1977.

Michael was 16 then - 30 years on he still feels bitterness towards them: "They said they were fighting a war but who were they fighting a war against?

"They were killing innocent people and they were only killing them because they were Catholics."

On the UVF statement, Michael said: "To me it's 30 years too late for my brother and a lot of other people.

Michael Campbell
Mr Campbell lost three family members

"But if it brings peace to the country and there's going to be peace then...

"I don't want my kids and other kids growing up in what we grew up in."

For almost 40 years the UVF waged its murderous campaign.

Although these families will take their grief to the grave - they hope they'll be the last to do so.

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