Wreath laid as victims pay tribute to murdered lawyer Edgar Graham

The 29-year-old unionist law lecturer was shot dead by the IRA in 1983.

Maura Babbington and her son Marcus lay a wreath ahead of the anniversary of the death of lawyer Edgar Graham
Maura Babbington and her son Marcus lay a wreath ahead of the anniversary of the death of lawyer Edgar Graham

Troubles victims laid a wreath in memory of a murdered unionist lawyer ahead of the Government’s announcement on the Pat Finucane case.

Edgar Graham, an Ulster Unionist Assembly member and law lecturer, was shot by the IRA outside Queen’s University in Belfast in December 1983.

The 29-year-old’s murder came six years before prominent solicitor Mr Finucane was gunned down in his north Belfast home by the UDA.

Some victims’ campaigners have sought to draw parallels with the two killings and have asked why Mr Graham’s case has not been afforded the same prominence as that of Mr Finucane.

Edgar Graham murder anniversary
Maura Babington, widow of James Henry Babington, with their son Marcus during a wreath laying at Queen’s University for Edgar Graham (Liam McBurney/PA)

At the ceremony on Monday morning, Maura Babington, whose husband, James Henry, was also murdered by the IRA, laid a floral wreath at the spot where Mr Graham was shot.

She was accompanied by their son, Marcus.

“Today I feel sympathy in memory for Mr Edgar Graham,” he said.

“It’s not about us and our case today. I thought it was appropriate to remember the man.

“I do remember as a younger man than I am today Mr Edgar Graham being murdered and I remember how horrified my whole family was at the time.”

The wreath-laying ceremony was organised by victims’ support group South East Fermanagh Foundation (SEFF).

Pat Finucane’s son, John, Sinn Fein MP for north Belfast, has been challenged on a number of occasions to specifically condemn Mr Graham’s murder.

He has stopped short of doing so, though he has insisted all killings in the conflict were wrong.

Pressed about the issue again last week, Mr Finucane told BBC Radio Ulster: “I don’t elevate the pain which my family went through above any other family.

“I am not going to say some killings weren’t wrong and others were wrong. That would be nonsensical. It lacks compassion and humanity. I certainly have sympathy, a degree of experience of what other families went through.”

Mr Babington said he had written to Mr Finucane last year to ask him to help him get answers about his father’s death. He said he had not received a reply from the MP.

Mr Babington’s father was shot dead on the Cavehill Road in Belfast in October 1989. The IRA said it was a case of mistaken identity.

No-one has been convicted.

“Like so many other families – we can’t make an exception and say that we’re the only ones affected – we didn’t get any justice,” said Mr Babington.

“And I don’t expect to get any justice for my father’s murder.”

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