Catholic Council service marks Palm Island death anniversary

Justice has to be seen to be done before any families who lost loved ones through a death in custody could really be healed, a Townsville service was told on Saturday.

CLICK HEREThe Townsville Bulletin reports tha the Aboriginal and Islander Catholic Council's special Healing Service to mark the first anniversary of the death in custody on Palm Island of Mulrunji Doomadgee also remembered others who died in custody.

Townsville-Thuringowa Community Justice Group chairman Graham Pattel said feelings were still high in the community of Palm Island because of an apparent lack of interest by police and authorities to heal the situation.

"People over there are still hurting and they're hurting bad," he said.

Mr Pattel said the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody was well over but there had been 86 further deaths since.

Community elder Renata Prior said the Palm Island community needed to see justice done for the death of their brother and friend.

"The time for talk is finished. We need to see justice now.

"You can't spell it out any other way. This two-law business just has to stop. We need justice, because there have been too many black deaths in custody. We need to get justice now."

Mrs Prior said the community reaction to Mr Doomadgee's death on Palm Island was purely reflex.

"No one ever spoke of doing damage to the buildings. It just happened as emotions boiled over.

"The lad who died was very close to most of the people on the island.

"The brick building has been replaced; his life will never be replaced.

"He was such a happy-go-lucky person and a friend to everybody on the island," she said.

Mrs Prior said the international media exposure of the tragedy had even prompted an associate of American talk show hostess Oprah Winfrey to contact her.

Search for justice part of grieving (Townsville Bulletin 21/11/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council

Community to pray for Palm Island reconciliation (CathNews 14/12/05)
Townsville bishop to join hundreds at protest rally (CathNews 9/12/04)
Commission supports Palm Island Community (CathNews 8/12/04)
Nun sees African-style fear in Palm Islanders (CathNews 30/11/04)
Aboriginal Catholic leader urges wholistic response to violence (CathNews 1/8/05)

Karen Kissane: R U serious? (The Age 19/11/05)
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21 Nov 2005