Family of Irish 9/11 victims slam delay in US trial process
Cliffords to pay tribute to sister and niece at Cork graveside
A Corkman who lost his sister and her daughter in the 9/11 attacks has revealed his anger that the five suspects detained in connection with the atrocity have yet to face trial.
Mark Clifford will remember his sister Ruth Clifford McCourt and her daughter Juliana at a private ceremony on Sunday in the Cork cemetery where they are buried.
Ruth, 45, and her four-year-old daughter were killed when their plane was hi-jacked and flown into the south tower of the World Trade Center.
The pair were on a surprise trip to Disneyland when they became victims of the atrocity.
Incredibly, Ruth’s brother Ronnie was on the concourse below the skyscraper, on his way to a business meeting at the Center, when the plane struck.
Ronnie was close to death himself after he was hit by burning fuel and falling debris but he was hailed a hero for helping to drag a badly injured woman to shelter.
New Jersey based Ronnie will fly back to Ireland to attend a memorial service for Ruth and Juliana and all 9/11 victims alongside his brothers Mark and John and extended family members.
Ronnie said: “I am hoping Mr Obama moves forward and tries the people in Guantanamo Bay. That will bring closure for a lot of the families.”
Ruth’s brother Mark has also spoken of his anger that the five terrorist suspects, currently being held in Guantanamo Bay, have not been brought to justice.
He revealed his family’s fear that they will never see justice delivered due to ‘bureaucratic red tape’ and said the delays, as lawyers argue over a death penalty case, are making life unbearable for the families of the 3,000 victims.
“The grief hasn’t gone away and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about what happened,” Mark told the Irish Independent.
“But I’m in constant contact with other families who lost loved ones and we all desperately need a resolution.”
The Cliffords will spend the 9/11 anniversary at the graveside of their sister and niece at St Finbarr’s Cemetery in Cork.
They will unveil a new three-tiered gravestone, with a birdbath, butterflies and daffodils sculpted on, to mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks.
Mark added: “They are all things that Juliana loved, so it will be a special way to help us celebrate their lives.”
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