Representing Victims of Terrorism in South Armagh
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Secret Deal Denies Victims Justice

The most recent comments by the secretary of state signal the government’s intent to once more try to sacrifice truth and justice for political expediency. The comments about reassessing how the past is dealt with are clearly testing the waters for further concessions to Republicans. We as victims are aware that Sinn Fein/IRA demanded a high and until now unknown price for their limited and tactical support for policing. Our sources inform us that the price is that there will be a de facto amnesty facilitated by the government reassessing the Historic Enquiries Role.

Already we as victims have seen progress for the first time in cases and often for the first time police liaison with families, and now hopes and expectations have been raised we hope the government has not traded these families right to truth and justice for republican involvement in policing. We have been here before with the Government trying to legislate for an amnesty to buy in Republicans now they appear to have learnt from that embarrassing defeat and are trying to secretly introduce the same.

We as victims have waited over thirty years for justice and truth and we have constantly been frustrated as the government procrastinates with one process after another. We have faced endless consultations and initiatives aimed at dealing with the past each costing more than the previous. Time and time again we have stated our opinion on the best way forward based on the existing criminal justice system. Indeed our views have been attacked as being unrealistic since republicans did not acknowledge and refused to play a role in the criminal justice system. Now we are all to believe that that has changed.

Indeed if there was ever a time to listen to victims it is now, because the issue is clear. If Sinn Fein/IRA are genuine in their commitments to policing and criminal justice they should be prepared to submit themselves and their organisations to it. There should be engagement co-operation and results there can be no half way houses or safe houses for those who have killed and maimed. This is the real test for Republicans this is the real test for the government and this is the real test for the peace process.

The government has already set the bench mark for dealing with the past with the Saville Inquiry and we believe that the lives of our loved ones are worth every bit as much as those who died that day, and that the need for our families to get truth and justice is as important as the families in Londonderry. The worst mistake the government could make now is to create a further divide. If one community can see justice and truth then ours must too we will no longer be treated as second class victims.

The most worrying aspect is the suspicion that the DUP are complicit in the present attempt to deny victims justice. Their secret dealings with Sinn Fein/IRA and the their new spirit of co-operation with them worries many people and as we see the lengths they have gone to go into government with them we fear just what they will do or allow to be done to stay in power. Have they been party to the plans to deny victims justice and do they support this immoral act.


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