Tuesday 6 December 2016

Fr Reid fulfilled his mission on unforgiving streets

Gerard O'Regan

Published 30/11/2013 | 02:30

Priests carry the coffin of Catholic Priest Alec Reid from Clonard Monastery, West Belfast
Priests carry the coffin of Catholic Priest Alec Reid from Clonard Monastery, West Belfast
Fr Alec Reid gives the last rites over the body of one of the British Army Corporals killed in Andersontown in March 1988.

The craggy, weather-worn features would be more usual in a west of Ireland farmer, who milked his cows, tended his crops and took his satisfactions from the rhythm of the seasons.

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But there was no rustic tranquillity in the life of Fr Alec Reid, who they buried this week – as sometimes friends and former foes came to say their last goodbye.

Alec Reid made his mark not in some pastoral setting, but in the hard, unforgiving, mean streets of Belfast, when that city was torn apart by mayhem and murder during the Northern Ireland Troubles.

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