Thursday, 24 December 2009

Ayr priest barred from Lockerbie memorial service in Virginia

[This is the headline over a report in the Ayrshire Post. It reads in part:]

An Ayr priest’s words were this week censored from a memorial service in the USA for the victims of the Lockerbie terror attack.

Canon Patrick Keegans was parish priest at Lockerbie when the attack occurred.

And he has spoken at previous services at the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, where there is a memorial cairn.

Canon Keegans had sent over an address to be read on Monday – the 21st anniversary of the atrocity.

But it wasn’t read out, after the leader of the American victims’ group took exception to part of it.

Canon Keegan proclaimed the release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi took ‘courage’ and was the ‘right decision’.

And he further said that although few in America believe Megrahi to be innocent, the victims of the bombing ‘deserve’ justice.

But Frank Duggan, president of Victims of Pan Am 103, saw the excerpt of Canon Keegans’ address, printed by The Herald newspaper.

And he said: “Fr Keegans’ remarks, as printed in the newspaper, were deemed to be very inappropriate for this memorial service." (...)

Canon Keegans’ address also included moving and poignant tributes to victims on the ground and in the air.

And he told the Post this week: “I felt that in view of what has happened this year, I should say the things I did.

“I thought it right to present my view, and the view of many in Scotland.

“I believe in freedom of speech, but Mr Duggan’s censorship of my words has given them greater impact.”


  1. Alright, this needs at least one comment. Good article.It's true that ultimately this increases the profile of his comments. But the main thing as always is the message - he's willing to take the principled stand against popular belief.

  2. President Obama is promising to investigate the (fortunately) failed attempt by a Nigerian moron to roast his own leg for Christmas dinner on Northwest Airlines Flight 253.

    Can we expect that a similar, robust inquiry into PA103 will follow?

    "America" and "Britain" already know what happened after all!

  3. Spam! Add a compliment and all's well, eh?

  4. Thanks, Caustic. I've removed the offending comment.

  5. lol

    I'm like an over-eager guard dog. It's nice to feel useful. Cheers.