It was a solemn occasion at the La Mon House Hotel near Ballygowan during the remembrance event for the bombing at the hotel forty years ago.
Strangford MP Jim Shannon, speaking after attending the memorial, said “The bombing by the IRA saw the loss of twelve lives, all brutally murdered in a fire bomb.
“Within Ards Town and the Peninsula area we have family survivors of that horrible day. Lily McDowell survived with 45% burns and she passed away in 2013, 35 years after La Mon. Her husband Billy and son Stuart remember all too well that fateful day and the way that it changed their entire family and life. What sustained the family through those hard times was their faith and belief in God and His grace.
“There were others who were not there on that fateful night from Newtownards, members of the Irish Collie Club or gentlemen who had stepped outside for a cigarette and their lives were saved and it really was the difference of a few footsteps or the decision to stay at home.
“Today, those who carried out the massacre are alive with lists of people who are On The Runs, free from the courts, free from justice – although only in this world – they will meet their makers and be held accountable in the next one.
“I am calling for the PSNI to review the case files, to follow up the leads and bring justice to the court of the land and make them accountable for their dark evil deeds. Some are now prominent in spheres of life while the families of those murdered, and those left behind carry the burden in their bodies and in their minds.
“If there is any justice then let it be for the families of those who died or were injured. Forty years is far too long to wait for justice to be delivered to those who knowingly and deliberately planned and set out to take life and cause destruction to wait… but they are waiting, and I wait with them still.”