A wrangle between victims’ campaigners and a peace organisation who nominated Martin McGuinness for an award has deepened with the organisation threatening to alert authorities to an email exchange.
Kenny Donaldson of Innocent Victims United began corresponding with Tipperary Peace Convention after they announced McGuinness as a nominee for a peace award.
Mr Donaldson initially contacted the group to ask about the nomination process as well as asking “what consideration was given by the committee in respect of the possible impact the nomination of Martin McGuinness would have upon victims of PIRA terrorism?”
He received a response about the nomination process, the same response that was sent to all media outlets who contacted Tipperary Peace Convention including the News Letter.
When the paper asked further questions about victims being blocked from the organisation’s Facebook page we were told there would be “no further comment”.
Mr Donaldson continued to press Tipperary Peace Convention for answers. He emailed them again to say: “Do you honestly believe that burying your heads in the sand is going to mean that these issues disappear and that terror victims will cease to speak?
“I would strongly urge you to reconsider the response provided or we along with others will be revisiting our approach in these matters and will then take what steps we view necessary in protecting the interests of innocent victims and survivors of PIRA terrorism and their concerns over one of your current nominees who is an unapologetic, convicted ‘commander’ of the terror organisation PIRA.”
Tipperary Peace Convention responded to say: “This is considered to be a threat to our members and your letter is being handed over to the appropriate authorities.”
Mr Donaldson sent a final email to say: “We have asked in a respectful way for a meeting with your organisers and that is being refused, don’t try to now play the ‘victim’ card with those who are the victims, that is quite disgraceful.”
He said the victims’ group would be “revisiting their strategy”.