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David Ervine

January 12, 2007

In the last six months  loyalism in Northern Ireland has lost two prominent leaders, both of whom were, in peace process terms, considered as doves. In July it was Billy Mitchell, (see earlier post here) a truly great and godly man and last Monday it was David Ervine. Both had done serious time in prison for crimes, both were connected to Gusty Spence, both died suddenly and tragically, and left us all with the sense that they still had work to do.

David’s funeral took place at the Mission today. I’ve worked here for nearly seven years now, and there have been many times when I have been proud to be here, but there have been few days to surpass today.

There were almost 1,000  people in our battered church building and its associated halls, and several thousands more on the street outside. The place was crawling with the members of the police Close Protection Team, all speaking up their sleeves, there to protect the various dignitaries and government people who were there.

And a thousand extraordinary stories on a truly extraordinary day. Right now I don’t have time to write, but I intend to, to tell some of the encounters and conversations of the last five or six hours.

Right now though, thoughts are with Janette and Owen and Mark and the wider family. And also with those other loyalists who have been slowly charting their way out of the conflict of the last 40 years and who now find themselves deprived of a man of vision and courage.

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From → Reflection

One Comment
  1. so good to hear that it was a wonderful day.

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