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Representing Victims of Terrorism in South Armagh
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27/10/04
Secretary of State in Default

I welcome the decision by his Honour Judge Weatherup to find against the secretary of State in his decision not to permit me entry into the key person's protection scheme. The reversal by the courts highlights the in justice and shameful decision handed down to me by the Secretary of state under advice of the Chief Constable in his refusal to offer me proper protection under the law. This court ruling was taken in the knowledge that there exists on a daily basis a high level of threat against me. I am pleased that Mr Justice Weatherup has acknowledged that my life is in danger, whether I am at home or performing my duties within the community for FAIR.

In saying this it is inconsistent that my application for the issue of a PPW was again declined. Operating on the ground in the South Armagh area where Security Force personal are seldom seen it is inconceivable to think that my life is less in danger than when I am at home. It is a fact that when I travel into the republican controlled heartland of South Armagh the PSNI have requested that I advise them of my movements. This in no way gives me any comfort or protection, which I am entitled to under the law. Security forces who travel by helicopter cannot protect themselves so how are they expected to protect someone like myself who is daily under threat.

If the courts acknowledge that I am entitled to protection in the family home am I not entitled to protection, all be it personal, outside it. Under the law everyone is entitled to the right to life and to the protection under that right. I would intend to continue to fight this case and if necessary will take it to the European Court of Human Rights.

Should anything happen to me in the interim the responsibility will lye solely with the Secretary of State and Chief Constable who have through their actions denied me the right of personal protection.

This is a landmark decision for Human Rights in Northern Ireland

 



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