FAIR
Representing Victims of Terrorism in South Armagh
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30/09/04
Peace funders show true colours

As victims of republican terrorism and brutality we are thankful that there has been funding made available to assist in some measure those that have suffered at the hands of sectarian thugs. It has been very clear that funding over the last number of years has been wholly inadequate and disproportionately small compared to the need of terrorist victims, with unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles put in place to withhold group growth. Especially responsible for this has been specific intermediary bodies who think their prime role is social engineering in favour of republicanism, instead of distributing public funds.

We have been sickened but not surprised to find that a conference has been held in Brussels on Peace Funding, which not only has ignored the innocent victims of terrorism but has had as a keynote speaker an IRA terrorist – Tommy McKearney who still believes he has the right to murder in the name of his cause. This conference failed to include a single representative from the unionist community, which probably is not surprising seeing as the funders carried on for along while as if the unionist community did not exist.

This conference was overseen by the Northern Ireland Executive’s permanent representation in the European Parliament, into whose agenda victims still do not fit. The reality is Peace Funding to a large extent has been used as a payoff to paramilitary groups particularly from the republican background who have been quick to use it to promote their own anti-democratic and criminal pursuits, in the form of developments such as “politically active ex-prisoner networks”.

It would have been reasonable to expect representatives from the victims sector to be represented at such an event, but clearly from a European and Governmental level peace is to be based upon the appeasement of terror, while victims needs and concerns are still deemed irrelevant.

 



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