For almost two months, the News Letter has provided a platform for a neglected view on legacy.
Amid the endless reports on allegations of ‘collusion,’ claims of army wrongdoing and conspiracies about ‘spooks’, we have made space for academics, lawyers, churchmen, ex security forces, commentators, politicians who hold a different view – that the state prevented civil war in the face of a republican-led terror campaign.
It is hard to believe that this has been a “neglected view” or that a small daily newspaper had to step in and provide that platform, but that is exactly what happened (see link to the series below).
Mainland media focused on outrage over the fate of NI veterans. It is a self evident scandal that elderly veterans face murder trials while IRA leaders were never tried for an offence akin to directing decades of murder and mayhem, but that is only one part of the far-reaching legacy scandal.
Victims too have told their story in our series, and the largest number of Troubles victims were the 2,100 people murdered by republican terrorists. By far the largest number of the injured of the Troubles were victims of the same, although you would never know this from the stream of republican protests that focus on victims of the state or reports on such.
Of the testimony that has appeared on our pages, Jackie Nicholl’s experience on the Victims and Survivors forum (which is found in the link below) is among the most awful – his son murdered in an IRA bomb yet he found himself beside a “boastful” IRA bomber. There is no more obvious illustration of the awry definition of a victim.
But in the same way that the plight of veterans is not the only horrific aspect of legacy, nor is the definition of a victim. The police misconduct aspect to the proposed HIU is a travesty.
Even after our scrutiny of it for the series, most of all by Neil Faris, there has been little uproar until today — the Police Federation submission on the closure of the consultation.
Amid weasel words that dominate discourse on legacy and the sight of the authorities seeming to strive to keep on the good side of terror apologists, what a relief at least to see police officers defend officers. It is not too late to listen to their justified fury and do something about it.
In the meantime, our essays continue until later this month.