The funeral of 16 year old Karen Grech took place in Malta on Monday (2 January).
SV PAN: the coffin is carried in procession from Hospital of St. Luke's in Valletta.
CU: headstone of grave showing name Grech.
GV: Addolorata cemetery full of mourners.
GV: parade of mourners including doctors in centre in white coats.
LV PAN: Archbishop Joseph Mercieca and others walk past the grave.
GV: coffin is carried into graveyard and people throw flowers and wreaths over the coffin as it is carried to the grave (5 shots)
SV: girls father Mr Edwin Grech is escorted to the grave.
SV: girls mother
GV: huge crowds in cemetery.
The dispute affects Malta's four government hospitals. A handful of doctors have been working on wards since the Prime Minister Mr Dom Mintoff sacked 70 consultant and junior staff six months ago after they took limited industrial action to protest against a law forcing graduate doctors to serve two years as housemen in state hospitals. Most of the 50 overseas doctors who now have the job of maintaining Malta's hospital service are working at St Luke's hospital in Valletta.Mourners were urged to attend Karen's funeral by a Government paper which said Dr Grech lost his daughter because: "He chose to continue serving the public at government hospitals". This and earlier press statements issued by the government have led to judicial protests by the Medical Association of Malta against the Doctor of Information rebutting allegations that the bombs were as a result of the strike and disassociating themselves from the attack. The controversial official press released said: "Logic showed no other motive for these terrorist attacks except that they are the result of the doctor's strike". Discussions on the strike have been suspended until the bomb culprits are caught.
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Background: The funeral of 16 year old Karen Grech took place in Malta on Monday (2 January). She died the previous Wednesday when a letter bomb addressed to her father, a doctor exploded in her hands. Professor Edwin Grech had been working at a Government hospital on the island despite a five-month-old strike by doctors. Karen's nine-year-old brother Kevin was also injured in the blast, but is recovering following treatment in the United Kingdom.
SYNOPSIS: The funeral cortege left the hospital of St Luke's in Valletta for a mass at the cathedral of Mdina, conducted by the Archbishop of Malta, Monseigneur Joseph Mercieca. From there they went to Addolorata cemetery where huge crowds gathered to pay tribute to Karen.
The Medical Association of Malta has vehemently condemned the bombing.Among the mourners were many doctors.
As the coffin was carried slowly towards the grave, the mourners threw wreaths and flowers. The bomb which killed Karen exploded but there was another bomb addressed to Dr Chatcuti Caruana, also at St Luke's Hospital. It failed to detonate. The Maltese medical profession has disassociated it itself from the incident and disputes a government claim that the death was a result of the strike.
Professor Grech who has worked through the dispute was joined at the service by his South African born wife, who had just returned from her son's bedside in Britain. She too was injured in the blast.