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Ann Travers: Who gives us the right to deny justice to our dead?

Ann Travers, whose sister Mary was was shot by the IRA.

Ann Travers, whose sister Mary was was shot by the IRA.

IRA victim Ann Travers has rejected a DUP proposal of optional immunity for those responsible for Troubles-related crimes.

The IRA murdered her sister Mary, a teacher, as she came out of mass in 1984.

Speaking to the News Letter yesterday Ann expressed serious doubts as to how the DUP proposal could work.

“I question whether or not the person who would come forward, whether you could trust them to tell the truth,” she said. “I also wonder whether it would be really the person who was involved.

“What is to say they could not put forward Joe Bloggs to say that he did it?

“Every view is valid, if some families are happy to go forward with immunity, fine. But it should not take away the hope for justice that others have. If someone appears to give information what is to stop us being retraumatised by that or deciding later that we want justice after all?

“Whatever happens the victims must be put first. There must be much more debate.

“Personally as part of the healing process I believe people need to be held accountable. What makes murder in Northern Ireland any different to murder in any other country?

“What gives us the right to deny justice to our dead?

“For me, I would like to see all the people involved in the planning, shooting and follow-up aspects of my sister’s murder subject to some sort of accountability, even if that is just 18 months in jail; that’s really where we are at the minute under the Belfast Agreement.

“Then when they have served their sentence they can get on with their lives and we can get on with ours.”

 

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