herald

Sunday 4 December 2016

Terrorist's death penalty brings closure for many Irish victims

reaction

The news that the Boston Bomber is to be sentenced to death has been met with a sombre but positive acceptance by the many Irish victims of the 2013 atrocity.

Three people were killed, and 260 were injured when the Dzhokhar brothers placed bombs at the finishing line of the Boston Marathon.

Victims and their family members sobbed as the death sentence was handed down to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (21).

Dublin runner Greg Fitzsimons from Whitehall was just one of over a hundred Irish runners who took part in the race.

Greg (42), who was only 100 metres away from the scene of death and carnage, said he thought the punishment decided by the US jury befitted the crime.

"I wouldn't be a person who agrees with the death penalty, but on this occasion I think it is a fitting punishment for what he did," he told the Herald.

"It is just my opinion, but it is definitely the right decision to bring closure to the victims' families."

Greg had passed the finish line just minutes before the first explosion.

bang

"We were watching people coming in and there was a bang which we thought was a generator or something, then there was another bang and then I knew it was a bomb," he said.

Sergeant Richard Donohue of Boston Police Department, who was shot during the attack, echoed Mr Fitzsimons' view and welcomed the sentence.

"Just over two years after the events that impacted us as a community and a nation, we can finally close this chapter in our lives," said the Irish-American, who studied in Limerick.

"The verdict, undoubtedly a difficult decision for the jury, gives me relief and closure as well as the ability to keep moving forward."

Boston Mayor Martin J Walsh, whose parents were born in Ireland, said he hoped that it showed the world that Boston can overcome any challenge.

"I hope this verdict provides a small amount of closure to the survivors, families, and all impacted by the violent and tragic events surrounding the 2013 Boston Marathon," he said.

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