Having survived the carnage of a triple car bomb attack in Claudy in 1972, former hotel proprietor Mary Hamilton said she had been compelled to attend Monday’s Minute’s Silence in the Guildhall.
The Silence, held by members of staff at the historic building in the Cityside, was one of a number of events held across the Province aimed at giving people the opportunity to show solidarity and support with those killed, bereaved and traumatised by the suicide bombings and shootings in Paris, France, on Friday night.
“I was in the car when I heard it announced on the radio that a Silence would be held in the Guildhall to show respect for the dead and injured of the Paris attacks and I just thought it was something I needed to attend, not just for them but for me, too on a personal level.
“The horrendous attacks and killings in Parish just brought everything back to me about Claudy. The confusion, the fear and all the death and injury. I cried the more I heard about what had happened. I just thought to myself that this is something I have to attend,” she said.
Recalling how she had watched the news on Friday and Saturday with mounting horror and unease, Mrs Hamilton said she was glad she had attended the Silence and stood shoulder to shoulder with the staff in the Guildhall for “a moment of silent reflection and prayer”.
“It was lovely to be there and quietly show my support. I just liked the fact that I could take part in a moment of silent reflection and prayer.
“One of my daughters had been planning to go to Paris this week and for some reason at the last moment had decided not to go. I am just so grateful that I have all my family around me and we pray for those who have lost family and loved ones in Paris.”