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First victim of post-accord violence buried in N. Ireland

Published: Saturday, April 25 1998 12:00 a.m. MDT

The first victim of sectarian violence since an accord was reached on Northern Ireland's future was buried Friday in Portadown.

Adrian Lamph, 29, was shot through the head and chest on Tuesday by a gunman on a bicycle. He was shot at the garbage depot where he worked in Portadown, southwest of Belfast.The predominantly pro-British Protestant town is home to a ruthless gang that opposes the April 10 accord, which faces referendums on May 22 in both parts of Ireland.

"Portadown stands as a touchstone for the future of Northern Ireland," Bishop Gerard Clifford told several hundred mourners inside St. John the Baptist Church.

"I've no doubt that the murder of Adrian Lamph was clinically and viciously executed to ensure that Portadown would rebel at the prospect of peace," he said.

Garvaghy Road has been turned into a sectarian battleground for the past three summers as hard-line locals try to block an annual march through the area by the Orange Order, Northern Ireland's major Protestant organization.

Portadown is the crucible of rural Protestant opposition to compromise involving the north's Catholic community, particularly those who support the IRA.

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