- Feb 20, 2011
Father Alec Reid reveals how he tried to save two British soldiers killed in one of the most shocking episodes of the Troubles - Home News - UK - The IndependentIn 14 Days, a BBC1 documentary broadcast Tuesday night which traces the events that were part of a violent and traumatic sequence 25 years ago, he revealed the blood of one of the soldiers splashed an envelope he was carrying. In it was one of a series of messages from republicans to the nationalist politician John Hume which are credited with helping bring about the IRAs eventual ceasefire. The priest changed the blood-stained envelope and delivered the message.
The events began with the SAS killings in Gibraltar of three IRA members who were intent on blowing up a British army band. As their funerals were taking place in Belfast, a loyalist gunman Michael Stone attacked mourners, killing three of them.
During the funeral of one of those three, two plainclothes soldiers in an unmarked car drove into the cortege. There they were surrounded by republicans, dragged from their car, beaten and partially stripped.
In an intense and emotional interview, Fr Reid recalled seeing the soldiers being taken from their car and dragged to a sports ground. He said: They put the two of them face down on the ground and I got down between the two of them on my face, and I had my arm around this one and I was holding this one by the shoulder.
Fourteen Days by DoubleBand Films is on BBC One on Monday at 9pm.
Was 19 years old when all of the above happened,remember a sense of total helplessness and revulsion as the pictures where streamed into our televisions.Will be interesting to see how I feel now watching this over 25 years later.Hopefully I have not become desensitized with all the madness we have witnessed over the years on our televisions.