MPs across the spectrum are waking up to legacy scandal

Morning View
Morning View

Alone in the Northern Ireland media, the News Letter has been urging the public to donate to private legal actions against the IRA in two cases: the 1971 Scottish soldier murders, and now the 1982 Hyde Park massacre.

It is hard to believe it has come to this but such actions must be taken in the absence of government funding to achieve justice against the terrorist group that sought to destroy Northern Ireland, that killed by far the most people during the Troubles, and that bombed London until it started to get what it failed to get at the ballot box.

While three elderly soldiers face trial for Troubles killings, while the PSNI legacy branch is bogged down investigating allegations against the state, while the intelligence services face scrutiny over Stakeknife and while the Police Ombudsman investigates allegations of RUC wrong-doing, seemingly no progress is being made in bringing IRA leaders to justice.

Meanwhile, numerous cases against the police and army are under way in the Northern Ireland courts and a number of legacy inquests into deaths at the hand of the state are also under way.

Sinn Fein, political wing of the IRA, leads the chorus of demands for funding for many more such inquests. This is a scandal of huge proportions, that a modestly-funded mooted Historical Investigations Unit seems unlikely to counter.

Radical measures are needed to restore some balance, in the short term including immediate funds for private legal cases.

There was a glimmer of hope in Westminster, when MPs from across the political spectrum gave support to the Hyde Park action. It is taking time but both political leaders and the British public are waking up to what is going on.

We urge people to donate – see page five. Rest assured you are not alone. Newspapers with huge readerships – the Sun and Daily Mail – are also backing the actions.

We trust that if the Conservatives return to power with an increased majority, such private pleas will be unnecessary.