Friends, former neighbours, politicians and justice campaigners joined the Devenny family at St Eugene’s Cathedral on Wednesday “in honour”, Father Paddy Baker told them, “of a great and good man, Sammy, who was a God-fearing man and a great father, a husband, a friend”.
In a poignant service, Fr. Baker spoke of the devastation wrought by the attack on Mr Devenny and his family and his subsequent death, and the dignified strength and determination they have shown since as they pursued justice for their father.
Speaking about the large congregation, Fr Baker said: “It’s nice to see so many here to support the family and pray for Sammy.”
And in a Homily which sent out a strong message about the injustice Mr Devenny’s family have suffered over the years, Fr Baker praised their determination.
“I know the family this past 50 years and in all of this I can say, from this altar, the Devenny family have accepted this with a great sense of dignity and have remained solidified as a family.
“Their hearts may be sore but their heads are held high and they persevere in faith, and that’s what our journey in faith is all about.
“It’s continuing to persevere... even in moments of darkness, and one day, please God, we will enjoy the fullness of life, the fullness of truth, and the fullness of justice.”
Following the service, many of those gathered walked the short distance to the memorial on William Street close to where the Devenny’s family home once stood.
There, Sammy Devenny’s children, grandchildren and great grandchildren gathered under a setting sun to lay red and white roses and a bouquet at the foot of the plaque.
Thanking those in attendance, the family then led a minute’s silence before leaving for Pilot’s Row where a new film about those terrible events five decades ago and the long campaign for the full truth was screened.