This is absurd: government can ensure beer for golf fans but not compensation for abuse victims

Margaret McGuckin pictured in January 2017 at the launch of the Hart recommendations, which included compensation for victims
Margaret McGuckin pictured in January 2017 at the launch of the Hart recommendations, which included compensation for victims

This is an open letter to the Secretary of State, Karen Bradley.

Last week, survivors and victims of institutional abuse were dealt another blow following the Judicial Review on your failure to introduce legislation following on from the Hart Recommendations.

However, whilst last weeks’ court case did not find your actions – or lack thereof – to be unlawful, we believe them to be shameful, lacking the fundamental trait we would expect to see from our politicians – that is, care, compassion and a desire to help people.

The fact that so much energy was expended on justifying why the NIO didn’t need to act is devastating and heart-breaking for those of us left to pick up the pieces.

Politics is supposed to be the art of the possible, and we know that with the necessary will, that you could give hope to the lives of so many victims and survivors who live day in daily with the shadow of their abuse over the shoulder.

Therefore we are pleading with you once more to introduce the legislation that would grant victims and survivors some small justice.

We recently learnt that legislative change will happen for the Open Golf Tournament so that licensing laws can be relaxed; if you can do this to serve beer at a sporting event, it is absurd to think that you can’t put in place support and compensation for some of the most vulnerable people in society.

As always, we continue to wait in hope.

Margaret McGuckin, Lobbyist for Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse (SAVIA), Belfast BT12