Donaldson tells NI veterans in London: ‘I share your concerns over imbalance’

DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson addressed the crowds in London on Saturday
DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson addressed the crowds in London on Saturday

DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, a prominent backer of the soldiers, addressed the London rally by Northern Ireland veterans on Saturday.

Speaking to the News Letter this evening, Mr Donaldson said that “with over 3,000 unsolved murders in Northern Ireland”, the focus of legacy investigations needed to shift away from the state towards paramilitaries.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Legacy Investigation Branch is investigating more than 3,200 killings in the Province between 1969 and 2004.

Mr Donaldson said: “I share their concern about the current process in Northern Ireland which seems to deal with legacy issues with an entire focus on what the state did. Recently we have seen a number of soldiers charged in relation to a number of alleged offences that occurred in some cases almost 40 years ago.

“These are men who are now retired, some of whom are in their 60s and 70s, and it is deeply unfair and unjust that they should now be pursued in relation to incidents that were previously fully investigated by the police at the time.

“We have over 3,000 unsolved murders in Northern Ireland, the vast majority of which were carried out by paramilitary terrorist organisations and yet there is very little resource devoted towards investigating those murders.

“The MPs who spoke at the rally are all very clear – we want the government to act and to act now.”

The DUP MP continued: “I think that the government needs to look at the possibility of introducing a statute of limitations which would mean that cases involving the Armed Forces and police would not proceed if a certain time period had elapsed.”

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