Dublin not accountable on Troubles role, say victims

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Terror victims from Northern Ireland have told Irish parliamentarians that their government was not being held properly accountable for its role in the Troubles.

They were speaking to the Joint Committee on Implementation of Good Friday Agreement about outstanding legacy issues in Northern Ireland affecting victims and relatives.

Those who gave evidence included Innocent Victims United (IVU), the Ballymurphy families, the Bloody Sunday families, families of victims from defence forces, police and prison officers, Pat Finucane Centre and the Committee for Administration of Justice.

Kenny Donaldson of IVU said they warned the Irish and UK governments about “hoodwinking efforts which they are party to”.

Concerning the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) plans on the dealing with the past, he warned that there was “an imbalance in the disclosure commitments” with the UK committing to “full disclosure” and Dublin committing to “disclosure with full cooperation”; the Kingsmills massacre inquest was viewed as “a test case” for Dublin disclosure but has been found “wanting on many levels”.

Mr Donaldson also warned that contrary to NIO assertions that all Executive parties had backed the legacy plans, the DUP, SDLP and UUP have not done so.

Victims’ campaigner Willie Frazer complained that he had not been invited, despite representing victims in “the hardest hit” part of Northern Ireland during the Troubles – the south Armagh border.

The committee responded that it chose a mix of delegates but had not deliberately excluded him.