Victims group’s plea to government over pensions ‘postcode lottery’

The 1998 Omagh bomb was one of many atrocities which cost lives during the Northern Ireland Troubles
The 1998 Omagh bomb was one of many atrocities which cost lives during the Northern Ireland Troubles

Terror victims living in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland have as much right to a proposed special pension for the seriously injured as those living in Northern Ireland, a leading victims group has said.

Innocent Victims United (IVU) has called on the UK Government to clarify its position on the GB and ROI-based sufferers following speculation that a deal on pensions is likely soon.

Kenny Dondaldson of IVU said: “We also seek their confirmation that terrorists who injured themselves whilst seeking to murder others will not be included alongside innocents within any special pension introduced”.

Mr Donaldson said the Government must “stop failing the innocent” and added: “In recent weeks there has been speculation that a deal may be in the offing to take forward a special pension for the seriously injured minus those based in Great Britain and Republic. If this speculation is accurate then IVU strongly rejects any move to do so. The postcode lottery which victims and survivors have endured over the years in terms of their accessing support must end once and for all.”

Some victims in GB have expressed concern they will miss out following pessimistic assessments by their local political representatives.

In a statement to the News Letter on Sunday, the IVU spokesman went on to say: “The Stormont House Agreement committed the London, Dublin and Belfast Governments to work collaboratively in ensuring that victims and survivors from across the nations would be provided for - and this must happen. Government must stop failing the innocent, each week that passes direct victims and survivors of terrorism and ‘Troubles related criminal violence’ are dying.

“Government needs to provide for those who have lost most, allow such individuals to have some form of dignity in coping with the debilitating conditions they’re suffering from.”