Representing Victims of Terrorism in South Armagh
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Punitive measures not enough

Following Mr Murphy's statement to the House of Commons today, we as a victim's organisation find it reprehensible that the Secretary of State has not seen fit to extend the full rigours of the law to Sinn Fein / IRA. The petty economic sanctions, though going some way to recognise their guilt, does not go far enough as they are still involved in the political process.

The suspension of allowances for the 4 Westminster MPs amounts to around 500,000, and equates to around 2% of the overall monies obtained from the Northern Bank cash vault. It is a mildly punitive measure that does not hit the pocket of Sinn Fein / IRA, neither does it constitute any kind of political sanction. It is clear to everyone that the British Government is recognising the deep anger in the Province due to criminality of the terrorists and has sought a "lipstick on the gorilla" solution. Rather than cosmetically sanctioning the Sinn Fein leadership, real and substantial measures should be taken to ensure that they are removed from any kind of political position. They have demonstrated clearly even to the Irish Government who surprisingly have been quite vociferous in their condemnation of Sinn Fein, that they are no more than criminals profiting from fear and illegal activities.

In a time when one non-politically correct comment can result in the resignation or enforced dismissal of ministers, MPs and politicians in general, it is unbelievable that known bank robbery masterminds are still allowed to masquerade as politicians and get away with it. If this is not immediately rectified, then British politics descends into a tragic farce, and we the victims of Sinn Fein / IRA's terrorist onslaught for 30 must be forced to watch them make a mockery of us all.

The lessons learned as to their evil intents and duplicity should have been warning enough for the British Government to exclude them until they had verifiably demonstrated they had left their wicked ways behind. The news today brings to naught all the good work that has been done on both sides of the divide by those who wish to see an end to violence and criminality. And it shows clearly that Sinn Fein / IRA are above the law, free to do as they please with little threat of curtailing action. It does not bode well for Northern Ireland, or for those in the border regions who have endured the worst of their terrorism, criminality and gangsterism over 30 years. With nothing to fear from the British Government Sinn Fein / IRA can pursue whatever political avenue they like - there seems to be no roadblocks on the main thoroughfare.


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