Representing Victims of Terrorism in South Armagh
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It has come to the attention of victims organisations and especially FAIR who represents a large portion of victims, that the organisation ‘Healing Through Remembering’ appear to be promoting themselves as the voice of victims. May it be highlighted that this group does not speak for the vast majority of victims and definitely does not speak for FAIR. Further to this, we would make it clear that we will not have anything more to do with ‘Healing Through Remembering’ as they have proved repeatedly their apologetic attitude towards Republican terrorists, who killed many of our loved ones, during the troubles.

The ‘Truth Commission’ that ‘Healing Through Remembering’ is promoting, is being rejected by not only all the victims we represent, but also many others. This ‘Truth Commission’ has been talked about since 1998 but it has been rejected by the vast majority of victims. It never took off the ground so to speak, and it never will. It is clear that it is only apologists of terrorists who want this Commission and we hope that this truth will finally sink in to those who seek to promote it. This ‘Truth Commission’ is not what we want. It is justice that we want!

FAIR would also like to take this opportunity to challenge ‘Healing Through Remembering’ as to how many victims it really represents. It seems that the group is made up of Republican and Loyalist prisoners and an ex-soldier who classes Republican killers as honourable. Surely with an attitude like this, any attempt to speak on behalf of the victims of those killers is an insult to the victims’ families. There is no doubt that there is an element of people who wish to forget the past and many have remarried, moved on and wish to forget everything, but the vast majority of victims cannot move on like this. It is not that we have anything against victims remarrying, but when they choose to forget their past, they should not assume that other victims can do the same. Maybe ‘Healing Through Remembering’ should consider a name review. ‘Forgetting to Remember’ may be a more fitting title for such a group.

We do not claim to speak for all victims and never have made or implied that claim, but we do speak for a large percentage of Northern Ireland victims and indeed most of the victims in this region. We do not just speak for ourselves, a few ‘ex-terrorists’, or even ‘ex-soldiers’ who never really gained an appreciation for what was happening here in Northern Ireland. Andrew Rawding should remember that victims have made their feelings clear as to how they feel about him even as recently as this month, when he was asked not to preach at a victims memorial service, due to his deeply upsetting comments about honourable IRA men.


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