People are sleep walking into a Northern Ireland governed by apologists for terror and murder, says sister of Edgar Graham

Edgar Graham, lawyer, Ulster Unionist MLA and Queen's University lecturer, shot dead at point blank range by the IRA in December 1983 at the age of 29, near the university
Edgar Graham, lawyer, Ulster Unionist MLA and Queen's University lecturer, shot dead at point blank range by the IRA in December 1983 at the age of 29, near the university

Northern Ireland is sleepwalking into becoming a society governed by apologists for terror, the sister of Edgar Graham writes today.

Anne Graham, whose brother was an academic and lawyer and politician shot dead by the IRA at the edge of Queen’s University, details her disillusionment at the failed investigations into the crime.

In a contribution to our Stop The Legacy Scandal series, Ms Graham explains how the 1983 terrorist killing of her sibling, who was aged 29, and tipped as a future Ulster Unionist Party leader, shattered her family.

“There was never any question of retaliation for the murder,” she writes.

“Frankly we were too broken to even be able to think of that.”

Ms Graham outlines how her brother was a political moderate and early advocate of a Bill of Rights to protect minorities, but how she believes he was feared by republicans as a moderate who might appeal to Catholics who “were starting to assimilate in the British state institutions after years of discrimination”.

Ms Graham reveals her disappointment with the Historical Enquiries Team who sent her a letter in 2014 saying that the case was closed without even a report, because they had no new evidence.

“I do not expect ever to have justice given the indifferent attitudes of the police, the justice system, the state, the churches and society,” she says.

In her essay she refers, without naming any politicians, to the repeated opportunities that numerous Sinn Fein representatives have been given to condemn the IRA’s murder that day of a lawyer and academic and politician, to which they have responded in general terms of regret but never denouncing the wrongness of the shooting of Mr Graham at point blank range.

“Peacemaking is not just overlooking terrible things that have been done,” Ms Graham says.

“It is challenging people, such as Sinn Fein politicians who regret my brother’s murder but will not condemn it.”

She adds: “People are sleep walking into a Province governed by apologists for terror and murder.”

• Ms Graham’s article is in our print edition and will be put online much later on Saturday

Morning View: Anne Graham’s story encapsulates legacy scandal

Links to the rest of our legacy scandal series