Ann Travers slams Hain for ‘no prosecutions’ call

Ann Travers
Ann Travers

A woman whose sister was gunned down by the IRA has accused former Secretary of State Peter Hain of “arrogance” towards terror victims.

Ann Travers’ sister Mary was murdered as she left morning mass in Belfast in 1984.

Yesterday she contacted Mr Hain via social media Twitter as he was about to give evidence about On The Run (OTR) letters to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee.

“I said to victims attending the hearing to ‘look him in the eye so he will know how hurt victims are’,” Ann said. “He replied to me that he resented the attack and did more than other Secretary of States to help victims.

“But he does not seem to get the deep hurt felt by victims, especially of IRA violence, and the feelings of mistrust that they now feel as a result of these letters.

“Then he tweeted an article back in which he said you cannot retrieve evidence 40 years on for prosecutions and that the Bloody Sunday soldiers should not be prosecuted.

“The families of victims know that the chance of prosecution is slim but he has no right to take this away from us by handing out OTR letters.

“I just feel it is absolute arrogance. He does not seem to see this was wrong and thinks it was okay because it led to peace.

“But he is completely ignorant of the needs of victims.

“He thinks everything is justified because we got peace through the Good Friday Agreement, but peace is a right – not something we should have to bargain for.”

Mr Hain’s office declined to offer any response yesterday.