A consortium of innocent victims’ groups has called on Victims’ Commissioner Kathryn Stone to explain what she is doing to pursue truth and justice for victims of terrorism.
Innocent Victims United (IVU) said the group was “deeply concerned by recent comments” from Ms Stone.
In an interview with the News Letter published last week, Ms Stone refused to say whether the IRA and UVF were terrorists. And on Saturday another victims’ group, Derg Valley Voice, said it was unhappy at her decision not to wear a poppy for remembrance week.
In a letter to the News Letter, Kenny Donaldson of IVU said that former terrorists were trying to have their campaign retrospectively legitimised: “Those who ‘played God’ and who decided who should live and who should die are fast rebranding themselves as the victims of a failed political and societal system which gave them no other choice but to do what they did.”
He added: “Victims’ Commissioner Kathryn Stone ...needs to explain what is being done by the commission to advance ‘justice’ and ‘truth’ for these ‘innocent victims and survivors of terrorism’?”
He added: “The ball is well and truly in the court of the commissioner’s office, no more platitudes and pleasantries – what has been done by the commission to advance the issues of innocent victims and survivors of terrorism?”
However, Presbyterian minister Rev Lesley Carroll supported the commissioner.
Reacting to TUV leader Jim Allister’s calls for Ms Stone to resign, she told the BBC: “For me to listen to a politician slipping into a personal commentary on a commissioner that’s very difficult to listen to.”
DUP leader Peter Robinson said on Friday that among victims there was “overwhelming support for Kathryn”.