[What follows is from an item originally posted on this blog on this date in 2009:]
Ayr priest barred from Lockerbie memorial service in Virginia
[This is the headline over a report in the [Daily Record]. 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.”