Row over call for Troubles amnesty

Presseye.com 5th November 2007 Picture Jonathan Porter. Nuala O'Loan spends her last day in office as the Police Ombudsman and is to be succeeded by Al Hutchinson.

Presseye.com 5th November 2007 Picture Jonathan Porter. Nuala O’Loan spends her last day in office as the Police Ombudsman and is to be succeeded by Al Hutchinson

THOSE who carried out some of the worst atrocities of the Troubles are already being given an “unofficial amnesty”, it has been claimed.

The comments were made by a victim’s relative in response to an interview by the Police Ombudsman Al Hutchinson who said it would be impossible to properly investigate all the murders of the past.

Mr Hutchinson said an amnesty should be considered to deal with the past, but stressed that victims should make the decisions on individual cases.

Speaking to the News Letter last night Victims’ Commissioner, Brendan McAllister, said the idea of an amnesty would be “repugnant to the majority of victims”.

Mr Hutchinson said in an earlier radio interview: “I think the key here is that the victim would have a say whether or not they might consider amnesty and that would be a conditional amnesty.

“We’ve had amnesty by many other names, when you look at the two-year release in the peace agreement, you look at the inquiries that are ongoing.

“So it’s not as if it’s a new concept either locally or internationally.

“I take the pragmatic approach; it simply would be impossible probably to investigate to a criminal standard all murders,” he told the Sunday Sequence programme on BBC Radio Ulster yesterday morning.

Mark Eakin whose eight-year-old sister Kathryn was killed in the Claudy bombings in 1972, claimed that an amnesty was already in effect.

No paramilitary group has ever claimed responsibility for the attack in the Co Londonderry village, and no one has been convicted of it.

“I don’t think anyone would be too shocked by talk of an amnesty for those who carried out murders during the Troubles, as far as I can see there is already an amnesty of sorts,” he said.

In 2010, a Police Ombudsman report into Claudy found that a prime suspect – Fr James Chesney – had not been questioned by detectives.

“Personally, we {Claudy victims] are not even close to the stage of an amnesty. The IRA has never admitted the Claudy bombings, so any talk about an amnesty is down the line a bit.

“There are people walking about who have a lot to answer for – on both sides – if they don’t answer for it now, they will have to in the next life.

“It would not suit anyone especially the politicians for all the truth to come out, and that is why I don’t believe we ever get the truth. To be honest I am getting fed up – there is no proper structure in place to sort this all out, and there is a lack of will to sort it out,” he added.

Northern Ireland Victim’s Commissioner Brendan McAllister said the concept of any amnesty would be rejected by the majority of victims and relatives.

“I will have to listen to what Al Hutchinson has said in relation to an amnesty and what he means by conditional amnesty.

“But the Commission has already placed on record its position on amnesty and that is that it would be repugnant to the majority of victims.

“An amnesty would in effect be a denial of justice. We have already rejected the idea of an amnesty.”

Willie Frazer, who heads the FAIR victim’s group in south Armagh expressed his anger with the comments from the Ombudsman.

“Any sort of amnesty would be totally unacceptable,” he said.

“I have spoken to hundreds of victims and families and the last thing they would accept is an amnesty.

“To give an amnesty to those who carried out IRA murders, would be to give them further reason to glorify and justify their campaign of murder and terror.”

Mr Frazer claimed 98 per cent of IRA murders in south Armagh remain unsolved.

“An amnesty would end any hope of justice for the families,” he added.

With Many Thanks To : News Letter

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About Kevin Meehan

About Me I studied for six months training and became certified in Exam 070-271 in May 2010 and shortly after that became certifed in Exam 070-272. I scored highly in both Exams and hope to upgrade my path to M.C.S.A. ( Server Administrator ) in the near future.I also hold Level 2 Qualifications in three subjects Microsoft Word, Microsoft Powerpoint and Microsoft Spreedsheets. I have also expereance with Web Design using Microsoft Front-Page.

Posted on February 16, 2012, in COLLLUSION IS NOT AN ILLUSION and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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