Brokenshire pledge on ‘appropriate justice’ for victims

Secretary of State James Brokenshire (right) with Billy Moore from the Apprentice Boys of Derry Centre during a visit to Londonderry
Secretary of State James Brokenshire (right) with Billy Moore from the Apprentice Boys of Derry Centre during a visit to Londonderry

The new Secretary of State has warned that perpetrators of Troubles crimes must face justice.

James Brokenshire said it was important to instil confidence in victims’ relatives who have waited decades for proper investigations.

Protecting security should not be used as a measure to avoid embarrassment, he added, but he had a duty to keep everybody in Northern Ireland and the UK safe.

Mr Brokenshire yesterday met members of the Pat Finucane Centre in Londonderry which represents overwhelmingly nationalist victims. He also met the Apprentice Boys while in the city. He said: “If there is criminality I am looking for appropriate justice.”

Among those Mr Brokenshire met was Tony Brown, whose nephew, Paul Whitters, was 15 when he was shot in the head with a plastic bullet.

Mr Brokenshire said: “Do I want to see people brought to justice as a consequence of information – I absolutely do.”

He said his approach was about “getting this right in ensuring national security but also doing what we can to give confidence to those looking for answers”.

Mr Brokenshire added that the majority of people affected would have been as a consequence of terrorist activity.

Pat Finucane Centre worker Sara Duddy said Mr Brokenshire requested the meeting and he believed dealing with the past was a priority.