Adams must not underestimate victims: Frazer

Willie Frazer.  Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Willie Frazer. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Gerry Adams would be foolish to dismiss terror victims’ representatives lightly during any public debate, Willie Frazer has said.

The Families Acting for Innocent Relatives (FAIR) spokesman said the way appeared to be clear for a face-to-face meeting – most likely at the Long Gallery in Parliament Buildings – between the Sinn Fein president and those affected by republican violence.

It was revealed on Wednesday that Mr Adams is seriously considering Mr Frazer’s request for the debate on the legacy of the Troubles.

It is understood representatives of families bereaved by the Shankill bomb, Kingsmills massacre and other IRA atrocities will be invited.

Mr Frazer – who hand-delivered his invitation to the meeting to the offices of Mr Adams in Dundalk – insists the proposed debate “will not be a shouting match”.

The victims’ campaigner said he has been engaging with republicans all his life and has nothing to fear from the seasoned political leader.

“People shouldn’t underestimate us. Seventeen years ago they underestimated us and we’re still here. Everybody has tried to get rid of us – from Westminster, the Irish government and even our own politicians, but we’re still here stronger than we ever were,” he said.

“We are not naive enough to think we aren’t up against it [in the debate], because we are up against it, but hopefully Adams won’t underestimate our capability either. We are not as naive as people put us down to be and if they study our past they should realise that. We haven’t lost many battles yet,” Mr Frazer added.

A Sinn Fein spokesman told the News Letter their party leader “has proposed that Conor Murphy MP meet with Mr Frazer to discuss the details of any debate”.