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Representing Victims of Terrorism in South Armagh
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26.09.07
Sinn Fein in Charge of Victims???

Victims feel that their principled stand against a Sinn Fein/IRA Victims Minister vindicated. We have consistently stated that it is both immoral and impractical to allow someone who was either an activist or an apologist for terrorism to handle such as sensitive post. It is akin to allowing a rapist to administer the funding and administration of woman’s support groups or allowing a paedophile to choose the Childrens’ commissioner. If it were not so sad it would be funny, however tonight victims are not laughing.

Our sector has effectively been frozen with funding services and all aspects of work held back due to the lack of political leadership. As a group we predicted these problems and warned the political parties, government and the interim Victims Commissioner that allowing victims issues to be handled by the Joint First Ministers would be a recipe for disaster. Aside from being the ultimate insult to victims we also foresaw the difficulty that reaching a consensus would provide.

Who can imagine that an individual like Martin McGuiness who dedicated his life to creating victims would now set aside his murderous ideology to support them. The lunacy of this proposition is incredible and represents the ultimate insult after years of injury. Many Victims feel this is a cruel joke and feel betrayed by the DUP who have allowed this. In long running negotiations with the DUP which we have carefully minuted senior members of the DUP including Ian Paisley promised that this would never happen. He sat across the table and listened to our genuine warnings and heard our logical reasons why it would be unacceptable and gave us his word that Martin McGuiness would never be in charge of victims. That has proven to be yet another lie.

Not only did we warn all those concerned that allowing a terrorist to control victims issues would be unworkable we also warned that we would not accept it. We have taken our fight right to the Bogside Butcher’s front door and we will face him. He has taken on a role that will be his undoing and victims will have the last laugh. Other sectors can sit by as Republicans ruin them but we will be taking action to safeguard our rights.

 



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