Representing Victims of Terrorism in South Armagh
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Victims have been denied access to the Maze site just weeks after Sinn Fein/IRA was granted access to glorify the Hunger Strikers. Victims are outraged that after the memory of Prison Officers, whose memorial stands at the site, was insulted by a Republican event at the Maze they have been refused entry. Victims many of whom were bereaved or injured as a result of Republican revenge attacks after the Hunger Strikes, planned to commemorate their loved ones. The memorial at the Maze, seemed a fitting site for such a commemoration. Victims also hoped to launch their book on the Hunger Strikes, and this we believe is the real reason why the NIO have denied us access.

The explosive publication will explode the myth of the Hunger Strikes and will demolish the Republican version of history. The book which has already been causing a sensation in Republican circles, and will expose the real face of the criminals who starved themselves to death, posing serious questions for Sinn Fein/IRA. Our sources confirm that the NIO are trying to suppress the booklet and delay its launch, this is the latest dirty trick from their department aimed at silencing victims. However such is the demand for the booklet across the province that a headline grabbing launch is planned. While we cannot confirm or deny the rumours that have began to circulate, however we can assure the government that their attempts to prevent the launch will only increase its impact. At a time when victims are being starved of funding FAIR will use the proceeds of the book to help the innocent victims. The book is dedicated to their memory, which makes the government's actions all the more disgusting. It is clear that the appeasement of Sinn Fein/IRA and the profits from the Maze regeneration are the main motivations for the NIO.

We see the book as a way of ending the glorification of terrorism and breaking the cycle of violence that continues to feed conflict in our country. By telling the truth and telling it well we are making a better future for all, we are building peace. However the government would rather appease terrorism, deny justice and equality to their victims and erode the democracy and rights we have fought hard to maintain. All we asked for was equal treatment, and warned of the potential of the site becoming a shrine to terrorism. That is what has happened, Sinn Fein/IRA are allowed to hold events and commemorations there yet their victims are locked out. We have issued the government with a deadline of 24th July to make an Emergency Intervention in the victims sector in terms of resources, now we are forced to add the Maze issue to the list of grievances we have. The present NIO office team appear to rule by dictat and deadline, therefore we will respond in kind, unless victims are facilitated in terms of access to the Maze site, and guaranteed equal treatment in regard to its development, then we will be forced to open a new front in terms of opposition to it.


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