Woman abused as child by stepmother praised for role in changing ‘unfair’ redress law

A CHILD victim of horrific abuse has been praised for her part in changing the law on compensation payments.

Mary Meehan who was abused by her stepmother Briege McLaughlin – holds a family picture,
Mary Meehan was abused as a child by her stepmother Briege McLaughlin. She was originally refused compensation because of the ‘same house-hold’ rule. Under legislation dating back to 1969, payouts were not made in cases where the abuser and perpetrator lived in the same home. The law was changed in 1988 but not backdated. This was successfully challenged in the High Court by Ms Meehan in 2018. Justice Minister Naomi Long on Tuesday June 9th announced the removal of the ‘same household’ rule. This now allows fresh applications for criminal injuries compensation for victims of abuse and violent crime who were previously excluded. 

“I recognise the impact this had on all victims whose applications were refused simply because they lived with their attacker”
Naomi Long


“The same household rule was unfair and I recognise the impact on all victims whose applications were refused simply because they lived with their attacker,” the Alliance minister said. Amending the law will bring the Northern Ireland Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (NICICS) into line with Britain. Applications for retrospective payments should be made within two years. “The payment can never fully compensate for the injuries suffered, but it is recognition of the pain and suffering of victims who experienced abuse and violence perpetrated by members of their own household,” Mrs Long said.

Follow this link to find out more about Breige McLaughlin (Meehan) -: https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3205039782909107&id=100002093504519&set=a.439170419496071&source=48&ref=bookmarks

Ms Meehan waived her right to anonymity in The Irish News back in 2009, having made a complaint to the PSNI/RUC the previous year about her stepmother. A daughter of prominent republican Martin Meehan, who died suddenly in 2007, she had been subjected to around 15 months of almost constant daily physical and mental abuse at the hands of McLaughlin (Meehan) from the age of nine. She was eventually taken into care in 1980, underweight, covered in bruises and with patches of hair missing. The former Newtownabby Sinn Féin councillor pleaded guilty to two assaults and child cruelty and neglect between July 1979 and October 1980. Seven counts of alleged sexual abuse were left on the books.

ABUSE: Above Left, former Sinn Fein councillor leaves Belfast Crown Court yesterday after she was given a suspended sentente for child cruelty and assault against her stepdaughter Mary. Above left, Martin Meehan. Above right, Kevin Meehan speaks outside Belfast Crown Court yesterday on behalf of his sister Mary.

She was given a suspended sentence on the basis of her age, guilty pleasure and perceived low risk to the public. Ms Meehan would have been entitled to a criminal injury payment had she not lived with her abuser. However, the antiquated ‘same roof’ policy led to her being refused compensation. That was overturned on appeal by Lord Justice Treacy in November 2018 when he said: “We can think of no reasonable foundation for a decision to maintain in being an arbitrary exclusion of this proven victim of criminal injuries from a compensation scheme which is specifically designed to compensate such victims.”

Victim Support NI chief executive Geraldine Hanna on Tuesday June 9th praised the actions of Mary Meehan in pursuing the change to the law. “I am delighted that this discriminatory clause in the Northern Ireland Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme has finally been removed. “It has caused unimaginable hurt and pain to the victims of childhood abuse. Children do not have a choice over where they live – they cannot remove themselves from the home and live independently in order to escape the abuse. “By remaining in the household they are not consenting to the abuse they experienced – they simply had no other choice. This abuse will have affected them throughout their lives. 

“We would encourage anyone who believes they may be eligible for this compensation to contact us for independent information and support. “We thank all those who have long campaigned for this change, in particular the victims whose successful legal challenges in 2018 led to the abolition of this rule.” Speaking to The Irish News, Ms Meehan said: “I am delighted that the law has been changed and no-one else will have to through what I have. It’s been a very long journey and a stressful time. “I hope that other victims, who were maybe afraid to come forward, will see this new law and know that things have changed, hopefully for the better.”

With many thanks to: The Irish News and Allison Morris for the original story 


Naomi Long: After The Mask Slips… by Donal Lavery – Jude Collins

Alliance Party leader Naomi Long the Justice Minister who asked no questions of the so-called enforcers of Justice and law and order(PSNI/RUC) over the death (murder) of Noah Donohee


Naomi Long on the left who went on to take up the post of Justice Minister but has refused to answer questions over the suspected murder of Noah Donohee

A vote for the DUP tommorow is endorsing Terrorism and support for Loyalist Paramilitaries of the UDA & UVF and the future of the North of Ireland !!!

UDA-Linked Ulster magazine urges support for four DUP candidates and urges its members not to support Ulster’ s Alliance Party &


A recent photograph of Jackie McDonald, commanding officer of the paramilitary UDA – laying a wreath on behalf of the UDA.  As two UDA members salute Jackie their leader as he marches back to where he was standing.


The Loyalist Communities Council has the backing of the three main loyalist paramilitary organisations, the UDA, the UVF and the Red Hand Commando
An umbrella group which has the backing of the three main loyalist paramilitary organisations has warned unionists not to vote for the Alliance party.

The Loyalist Communities Council (LCC) was launched in 2015.

A recent photograph of the paramilitary group that Jackie McDonald is commander-in-Chief, marching through Belfast in full-paramilitary regalia.

In a statement, it said that “any unionist who votes for the Alliance Party is driving a nail into the coffin of the union”.
The Alliance Party has strongly rebuked the LCC position, calling the statement “absurd”.
The loyalist community council has the backing of the Ulster Defence Association, the Ulster Volunteer Force and the Red Hand Commando.
The LCC also said no party has done “more to undermine the Britishness of Northern Ireland, and foment community mistrust and division than the Alliance Party”.
It called for a maximum turnout by unionist voters and endorsed four specific candidates.

One of the group’s endorsing four senior members of the DUP, the UFF, Ulster Freedom Fighters an illigegial paramilatay group. Banned in the North of Ireland and responsible for the murders of dozens of innocent Catholics because of their religion. They are an armed paramilitarary group, very well known in the North of Ireland. To be an umbrella group (the armed wing of the UDA) for the UDA.

They are Ulster Unionist Tom Elliott in Fermanagh and South Tyrone, the DUP’s Nigel Dodds in North Belfast, the DUP’s Gavin Robinson in East Belfast and the DUP’s Emma Little Pengelly in South Belfast.


Tom Elliot (MP) endorsed by the UDA-linked magazine, The Loyalist.

In the first two constituencies, the candidates mentioned are the only unionists running, but in the other two seats the DUP faces competition from the Ulster Unionists.
Alliance ‘satisfied’

Emma ‘Little’ Pengelly (MP), whose father was involved in gun-running for Loyalist paramilatary’s. Endorsed by the UDA.

In a statement, the Alliance Party said: “In sharp contrast to the DUP, who appear content to accept the endorsement of paramilitaries, Alliance is satisfied to accept their rejection of our principled and consistent stand for the rule of law and against all terrorism.

Nigel Dodds (MP) endorsed by the UDA.

“This absurd statement shows not only the dearth of political analysis within loyalist paramilitaries at this time, but highlights clearly which parties are really willing to take on and challenge paramilitaries, and which are happier to chase and foster their support.

Last but not least, Gavin Robinson (MP) endorsed by the UDA.

The Loyalist Communities Council was launched in 2015 with the assistance of Tony Blair’s former Chief of Staff Jonathan Powell
In Monday night’s UTV election debate, both Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill and Alliance’s Naomi Long challenged the DUP’s Nigel Dodds to reject the endorsement of a group linked to loyalist paramilitaries.

A recent photograph of Nigel Dodds (MP), when he atteended a loyalist riot with police in North Belfast. Where numerous police officers were injured. Looking a bit ‘worst for wear’ being held up by two loyalist rioters on 12th July riots. Endorsed by the UDA. Ask yourself this question ” Would you trust the DUP”?

Mr Dodds replied that his party had always opposed paramilitarism.

Speaking on BBC Radio Ulster’s Talkback programme on Tuesday, the DUP’s Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said.

Jeffrey Donaldson (MP).

Jeffrey I do not seek, nor does the DUP seek the support or endorsement of any paramilitary organisation, and we reject any such endorsement.

The Ulster Unionist Party leader, Robin Swann, said: “The Ulster Unionist Party is a party of law and order.
“We have not asked for the support of paramilitary organisations nor do we want the backing of organisations still engaged in paramilitary or criminal activity.”
On social media, former Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt has clarified that he has not asked for and does not accept the LCC’s statement of support.
Mr Nesbitt was not one of the candidates mentioned in the group’s election statement.
Tony Blair’s former chief of staff Jonathan Powell played a part in setting up the LCC.
Mr Powell described the formation of the council as the “last best chance” to include loyalists left behind by the peace process

With many thanks to: UTV Northern Ireland, for the original story.

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