OTR reaction: People have literally got off with murder, says Shankill bomb victim

Alan McBride who lost his wife in the Shankill bomb.
Alan McBride who lost his wife in the Shankill bomb.

Alan McBride, who lost his wife Sharon in the 1993 Shankill Road bombing, said the latest revelations on immunity for terror suspects “came as no surprise” to him.

“This never really shocked me. Our whole peace process was built on deals – some of them private, some of them more up-front.

“With regard to people being denied justice, I think people here in Northern Ireland have just come to accept that this is the norm.

“People have quite literally got off with murder – on all sides, including republican, loyalist and on the state side as well,” he said.

Mr McBride, whose father-in-law John Frizell was also among the Shankill bomb victims, said that while he wasn’t shocked at the Government deal over the on the runs, he felt “great sympathy” for the families most affected.

“They now have been denied what I think is their fundamental right to their day in court, and to see the person accused of that horrific crime (the 1982 Hyde Park bombing) stand trial for it, and then for a jury to judge whether he is guilty or not.

“Regarding some of the wider issues, Northern Ireland probably is in a better place today than it was 30 years ago and a lot of that has been on the back of the Good Friday Agreement and those sort of deals, but it also left a lot of people very disillusioned, primarily around the whole issue of justice.”

Mr McBride added: “While a lot of these things are unjust – and what happened to the Hyde Park families is an injustice – for me the greater injustice would be if we get locked in to the situation that we had 30 years ago. We cannot go back to those days.”