Troubles widows have told me: Terrorists murdered my husband and the state is proposing to finally murder justice

A letter from Kenny Donaldson:

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

The Stormont House ‘Dis’ Agreement was a political process – never a victim/survivor-focused process.

Ultimately when others were enabled to directly impact the content of the draft SHA bill, its fate was sealed.

The SHA was UK state-centric and was fundamentally imbalanced – it did not hold a prospect of delivering for innocent victims/survivors of terrorism.

Secretary of State Brandon Lewis announcing the de facto amnesty in the Commons last week

For a quarter of a century the political system has subverted the criminal justice system: early prisoner releases, OTR Assurance letters, Royal Prerogatives of Mercy are just a number of overt and covert ways in which this has been done.

The UK state is now proposing to extinguish the most fundamental principle of any democratic society; the right to justice.

This is not acceptable and would be an extremely dangerous road to travel.

We have many, many innocents who have been deeply affected by developments in recent days. A number of widows have remarked; terrorists murdered my husband and the state is proposing to finally murder justice.

We have put forward an alternative proposal to the Secretary of State and we will be refining this proposal and will be engaging with him, his office, local and national political parties and the Irish government who must cease playing the role of spectator and actively engage with the process, with a view to facing up to their own actions and inactions over the years of the terrorist campaign.

The Secretary of State and UK government are not presenting a victim-centred solution. They are presenting a proposal which they believe will achieve two ends; stop the prosecution of veterans and appease terrorism (particularly the Provisional IRA) – finalising the awkward edges left after the Belfast Agreement.

Stop whilst you still can; work with us to deliver an alternative which reflects the integrity of ‘The Past.’ We must push forward with a justice and accountability-centred process.

It is not for the prime minister of the UK, or anyone else, to arbitrarily close down justice because of vested interest masquerading as concern for enabling Northern Ireland to move forward and draw a line under a painful past.

For today’s politicians ‘The Troubles’ are ‘The Past’ and are treated with a past tense approach.

However, for those who were directly impacted, the legacy of that terror and violence remains with them, and they continue to yearn for justice and accountability for the heinous and unjust actions which they were subjected.

Now is the time for the appeasement of innocent victims and survivors who have been used as collateral damage for way too long.

Kenny Donaldson

South East Fermanagh


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