FAIR
Representing Victims of Terrorism in South Armagh
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10/12/04
The true meaning of humiliation

Sinn Fein / IRA has stated that the production of photographs showing IRA weapons being "put beyond use" is a means of 'public humiliation' and would be held up as being a propaganda coup for the DUP. In reality, a photograph showing the act does not constitute any kind of humiliation for the terrorists who used them. Inherent in Sinn Fein / IRA's language is a keen sense of pride in what they have done and it does not contain any vestige of regret or remorse.

It is FAIR's belief that the word "humiliation" cannot be used in this context. Rather, in deference to those who have suffered the terrorist onslaught, this potent word must be used to describe their plight, and not be used to describe terrorist feelings. At a time when the sensitive issues being addressed have a profound impact on the feelings and emotions of victims, such language should not be employed.

The victims have suffered the indignity of being slated as those who are pre-occupied with the past, as those who cannot bear the sight of watch towers being removed because they are opposed to the "defusing of the situation". Having endured years of senseless slaughter, the people of South Armagh have been expected to unquestioningly accept the new face of so-called law and order. The lawlessness of this part of Northern Ireland is legendary, and it is a humiliation for the law-abiding citizens from this area to be subjected to decreased policing from previous almost non-existent levels.

Compounding this feeling of humiliation is the degradation resulting from the government's smokescreens and mirrors around unsolved cases. With a vast majority of cases resulting in no convictions the people of South Armagh have been debased by the government's blatant policy of appeasement. Rated as second-class citizens, the cries of relatives for redress and justice have fallen on deaf ears, as the British Government has pandered to the IRA time after time. And even the raising of terrorists to minister-level, those who committed violent and terrible acts, is an open and public humiliation of the victims.

The dishonour dealt to the RUC and to the many dead and injured relatives who served within it's distinguished ranks, has caused a feeling of deep-seated humiliation within the Protestant community. The blame for this cannot fully be laid at the Republican's door. The British Government is culpable in it's destruction and the erasing of it's name as if it was a terrorist organisation. And on the other hand, 'statesmen' like Martin McGuinness supposedly pursuing peace are applauded for their accommodation and forward-thinking.

We are sure that those people who lifted body parts of family and friends have felt acute humiliation in recent days, and are sure to have found the traumatic experiences they have gone through humiliating in their own way. Sinn Fein's claim certainly does not stand up to scrutiny. We would like to make it clear that whatever happens in the coming days, we will still be seeking to bring to account those responsible for killing and maiming our loved ones. We will relentlessly pursue justice for such atrocities as Kingsmills, Tullyvallen and the myriad tortures of individuals. Justice must be done if there is to be peace and no further humiliation of the victims who have endured the war.

 



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