N. Ireland car bomb kills prominent Catholic lawyer
March 15, 1999
LURGAN, Northern Ireland (CNN) -- A car bomb exploded in Northern Ireland Monday morning, killing an attorney who represented a Catholic neighborhood against Protestant marchers in Portadown.
Rosemary Nelson died from injuries she received when the bomb exploded as she was driving her car away from her home.
Nelson represented a coalition of Catholic residents of Garvaghy Road in nearby Portadown in their bitter, and frequently violent, battle against the Protestant Orange Order. The Order claims a right to march down the road to commemorate a 17th-century Protestant victory over the Catholics.
"Rosemary Nelson is a human rights lawyer and is best known for her work on behalf of the Garvaghy Road community," said local Sinn Fein party representative Dara O'Hagen. "Because of this work, she has had her life threatened on numerous occasions."
Nelson was the attorney of record on a number of other prominent cases, including a man accused of killing two policemen and the family of a Catholic man beaten to death by two Protestants.
Police said no warning for the attack was received, and no one has claimed responsibility for the bombing.
Nelson was married and the mother of three young children, ages 8 to 13.
Catholics, Protestants, British and Irish are forging slowly through a sometimes shaky peace process brokered last year by former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell.
The agreement, signed on Good Friday last year, is aimed at stopping 30 years of war between the Catholic Irish Republican Army and the British-backed Protestants in Northern Ireland.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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