Kenny Donaldson: Victims should not be blackmailed into supporting pension payments to terrorists

The proposals of the Victims Commissioner Judith Thompson were unveiled on Wednesday
The proposals of the Victims Commissioner Judith Thompson were unveiled on Wednesday
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We alike many others have campaigned for many years for the provision of a special recognition payment/pension to be made available to the seriously injured of the Troubles.

In September last year we launched a contract with the seriously injured in which this item was very much to the fore and we secured significant political backing for our stance.

Letter to the editor

Letter to the editor

Let us be clear; we will not be goaded into a cynical and cruel game of pitting one innocent victim off against another.

We fully appreciate the financial hardship that many have experienced down the years and recognise the failings of our political system to address the issues thus far.

Those who continue to struggle and who fear for the future and who crave to have some measure of financial security should not be put in a position where they are effectively being blackmailed into offering support for a pension which incorporates terrorists/perpetrators and for which the greater majority of innocent victims understand to be wrong.

The fact that yesterday’s proposals were launched to the media minus consultation with the sector illustrates the lack of consent that exists for the content - and that is deeply insulting to innocent victims. The UK government must now make right with this issue by accepting and legislating amendments which ensure that no pension/payment can be made payable to:

1. Those who went out to harm others but were themselves injured in the consequence of their actions.

2. Those with serious Troubles related criminal convictions.

There is also an urgent need for work to be completed on other classifications of victim/survivor and the need for recognition/reparation payments to be made ie to the bereaved and those displaced from their homesteads due to violence and intimidation motivated by sectarian and ethnic hatreds.

These matters must be resolved once and for all, a UK-wide definition of victim of terrorism is the basis to unlock these issues.

Kenny Donaldson,

Spokesman for Innocent Victims United