INTRODUCTION: Thousands of Spaniards have attended the funeral of a nuclear engineer who was killed by the Basque separatist organisation, ETA. The organisation said they objected to the construction of a nuclear power plant where the engineer worked.
SV Body of Ryan. (3 SHOTS) (BLACK & WHITE)
CU Still photo of Ryan. (BLACK & WHITE)
LV AND PAN EXTERIOR People lining streets in Bilbao.
GV PAN INTERIOR People at funeral service.
GV ZOOM INTO SV Spanish officials.
CU Ryan's widow.
GV Priests preceding coffin down aisle, then placing on bier.
GV PAN Priests and funeral service.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Thousands of Spaniards have attended the funeral of a nuclear engineer who was killed by the Basque separatist organisation, ETA. The organisation said they objected to the construction of a nuclear power plant where the engineer worked. There's been widespread anger and disgust in Spain at the killing.
The body of Senor Jose Maria Ryan was found by police dumped by a roadside near Bilbao, shot through the neck. His death came after the authorities had ignored a deadline set by ETA to start demolishing the nuclear plant.
Senor Ryan was of Irish descent and the father of five children. Even strong supporters of ETA condemned his killing, and trade unions called a general strike to protest the action throughout the Basque region.
For his funeral on Sunday (8 February) thousands of people from almost every political faction in the region lined the streets of Bilbao. The entire Basque regional government and leaders of nearly all political parties and unions attended.
The funeral was described as one of the largest-ever gatherings to denounce political violence by ETA. So far this year there have been five political killings in the Basque region. A prominent left-wing lawyer and politician, Juan Maria Bandres, who has defended many Basque guerrilla suspects, said 'This puts an end to ETA'.
Senora Ryan, the engineer's widow, listened as leader after leader attacked the murder. The President of the Basque Parliament, Juan Jose Pujana, said 'this savage murdering fury must be eradicated'. And the leader of the Basque Socialist Party described the killers as 'fascist fanatics'. But according to ETA, the murder of Senor Ryan was the start of a campaign against senior staff of the company building the nuclear plant at Lemoniz near Bilbao.
ETA maintained the plant was being built too near populated areas. Guerrillas from ETA's military wing held Senor Ryan hostage for ten days before killing him.