Troubles victims remembered in collection of shoes

The shoes are displayed at the Linen Hall Library. Credit: UTV

A collection of shoes belonging to victims of the Troubles has gone on display at the Linen Hall Library in Belfast.

They have been donated by families from both nationalist and unionist backgrounds who want the British and Irish Governments to find an acceptable way of dealing with the past.

A note attached to the footwear tells something about the person that the empty shoes represent.

Among them a soldier, a member of the Miami Showband and a family of four - a husband and wife and their two children.

Bernie Donnelly's father Barney and 13-year-old daughter Emma died together in the Benburb bombing, which will be 30 years ago in November.

She brought their shoes with her to add to the growing collection.

“I think sometimes with the big killings, when there's six and eight and 10 people killed, there's a lot of focus on that," she said.

"When you've only one or two people they're forgotten about."

Bernie Donnelly's father and daughter were killed in the Troubles. Credit: UTV

While the majority of victims represented here are from nationalist backgrounds the organisers say the exhibition has no political banner.

Alan Bracknell from the Pat Finucane Centre said: "Anyone who feels they are victims of the Troubles are more than welcome to donate a pair of shoes and they will be displayed in the same way."

In this exhibition, everyone who walked in these shoes is treated as equal, regardless of how or why they died.

Now their families are now united in calls for an accepted mechanism for dealing with the past.