Is the Belfast News Letter pandering to ‘loyalist extremests’ over the NI Protocol?.

‘DATE SET: for pound-shop lawyer Jamie Bryson’s civil action against solicitor. ‘.

Pound-Shop lawyer Jamie Bryson under armed guard


I FIND the split personality of the first minister Peter Robinson totally amazing on the  subject of victims. As recently as May 10, Mr Robinson in his role as first minister meet family members of the Birmingham bombing victims.


After meeting them he said a new investigation was necessary. He also said that they must try to pinpoint who was responsible for this dreadful act. He then asked families to put ttogether a dossier of documents of their campaign and he would pass them on to David Cameron. He said if the British prime minister looks at these arguments there is every reason there should be an investigation. He also signed their petition for a public inquiry.

Fair enough but then put this in the context of when Mr Robinson as DUP leader met the families of the Ballymurphy Massacre in February 2011. He was sympathetic and seemed shocked when he was told there was no proper investigation. The families then asked would he speak to the then secrtary of state Owen Paterson. He said he would and would raise other issues for the families. To this day the Ballymurphy families are still waiting. Mr Robinson also said that to lose a loved one is a painful experience. The way in which we deal with the past requires sensitivity. Then he said the DUP’s of the view that a further raft of open-ended inquires is not beneficial. 

No calls for a dossier of documents for the British PM.

No calls here for pinpointing who was responsible.

No calls for looking at the arguments.

No signing of the petition for an inquiry.

This is a first minister who says he wants a shared society. Alas it seems not for the victims of state violence.

With many thanks to : Pat Quinn

Ballymurphy Massacre Committee Belfast.

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Row over call for Troubles amnesty 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. 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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