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17 May 2022

Watch: Bloody Sunday: 'Never forget but forgive and move on'

Kevin McKinney's touching tribute to his father

Kevin McKinney, whose father, Gerry McKinney was murdered on Bloody Sunday, said his family had consciously decided to forgive.

Speaking to Derry Now on the 50th Anniversary, to the day, of Bloody Sunday, Kevin, who now lives in Inishowen, said: "What we, the family, have taken out of the experience of Bloody Sunday is that we have decided, and it definitely was a decision, to forgive and move on, never to forget but to be humble enough to know life does go on.

"If you get bogged down in bitterness, it will only make things worse for you in the long run."

Kevin said he was able to let that go, in the right way, by his father being proved innocent.

"That was something we always knew, but just to let the world know"

"Us, as a family, we live in his memory. We want to be the vision he had for us. So, we do not want to be clouded with bitterness and hate and pain, especially now that mum has passed and they are all together, her and Gerry [Kevin's youngest brother] and my father. They didn't want that for us.

"It is really, really important people understand you can forgive, you can move on and live a fulfilling life but that doesn't mean you forget the memory and you are not hurt by it.

"We always hurt and even though the Anniversary is 50 years, for us, for everyone else, for me personally, it is like it happened yesterday. My memory of that day, my memories of before my father was killed, are really ingrained. They are really important.

"If I look at my life, probably from 11 to 17, my memory of my teenage life is very non-existent, compared to the memories before hand. They are the ones that stuck with me and they are really really important.

"I got through my pain as a teenager growing up, the hate and anger and bitterness that I felt. I have been bale to put that behind me and that is really important.

"In my own kids, I would not want them to be growing up with even segment of the hate and bitterness that I experienced.

I think what I have done now as a family, what I do for a living it is really, it was really important to be able to move on and get over the pain and the hurt that is there."

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