If PSNI chief constable can meet terrorists like one of the corporal killers, he can also meet victims

A letter from Kenny Donaldson of South East Fermanagh Foundation:

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 11:30 am
The chief constable Simon Byrne was in a virtual meeting with Harry Maguire, who was found guilty of 1988 IRA corporal murders in west Belfast, above. The British Army corporals Derek Wood and Corporal David Howes were trapped in their car before being tortured and shot after they ran into the funeral of an IRA man

Is Simon Byrne interested in bridging the trust divide which exists between his office and our constituency of victims and survivors of terrorism?

The recent dismissive response from the PSNI of our renewed request to meet the PSNI chief constable would indicate there is little will to do so.

On Friday last we and other organisations were remembering Corporals Derek Wood and David Howes on the anniversary of their brutal murder carried out in 1988.

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Letter to the editor

We remind you that Harry Maguire and Alex Murphy were found guilty of the murder of the corporals. They were jailed for life in 1989, Alex Murphy received a further 83 years, and Harry Maguire 79 years, for bodily harm, falsely imprisoning the soldiers, and possessing a gun.

Harry Maguire was known for being heavily involved in the Belfast Brigade of the Provisional IRA for many years pre the murder of the corporals. Both he and Alex Murphy were released under the terms of the Belfast Agreement, their life sentences airbrushed away by the forces of political expediency, the innocents they created continue to serve their life sentences with no prospect of early release.

Just before the 33rd anniversary of the murders, the PSNI chief constable thought it was reasonable to take part in a debate with Mr Maguire on what is termed ‘restorative justice’.

How crass it was to post on Twitter an image of that meeting around the anniversary. We call for an explanation from the chief constable, was it posted with knowledge of who Harry Maguire was and the symbolism of their anniversary or did you and PSNI Communications team not know this?

In any case there needs to follow a full explanation coupled with an apology to the families of the two corporals. Then we again respectfully ask for a meeting with you to discuss a range of policing and legacy related issues pertinent to our constituency.

It is not our method to bring people on to the streets, or corner you with cameras at the ready, please start acknowledging the honour with which we seek to do business on behalf of people left broken by the actions of the likes of Harry Maguire.

Kenny Donaldson, Director of Services, South East Fermanagh Foundation

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