Bomb survivors ‘ignored because they live in GB’

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Survivors of an IRA bomb blast in Manchester have said their compensation claims are being ignored because they do not live in Northern Ireland.

They are demanding a pension, for which Northern Irish victims of the Troubles could be eligible, the BBC reported.

One person injured in the 1996 blast has called on the UK Government to “support its victims”.

The British Government said it would “consider the position in relation to victims elsewhere in the UK”.

Plans for a special pension for severely injured victims in Northern Ireland were included in the Stormont House Agreement.

However, talks on the payment have stalled. Sinn Fein insists injured IRA bombers should be included but unionist politicians strongly object.

A Northern Ireland Office spokesman told the BBC: “We can see a case for awarding a pension to victims who were severely physically injured as a result of the Troubles and would like to see this happen.”

He added that victims of terrorism in Great Britain could be supported by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.

An anonymous victim said: “I don’t understand why the UK Government hasn’t supported its victims. It doesn’t make any sense to me.”

Victims Commissioner Judith Thompson said: “Geography shouldn’t be a barrier.”

People are almost worse off outside Northern Ireland because what they’ve suffered isn’t understood, she added.