Victims cannot stop the legacy process but they can give the lie to the notion it is victim-centred

News Letter editorial
News Letter editorial

The article in this newspaper today by Innocent Victims United (IVU) and South East Fermanagh Foundation (SEFF) is a grim milestone in legacy.

These are the biggest of the organisations that work with innocent victims and survivors.

Not everyone accepts that concept of ‘innocent’ victims, but it is important that some groups do maintain that distinction, now that the ever-neutral UK government has accepted a definition that includes bombers.

Kenny Donaldson and Ken Funston are not only clear that they reject the legacy proposals, they make further clear the railroading through of the structures as outlined in the legacy consultation will be done by politicians for their own reasons.

Victims will not be able to stop that but they will be able to give lie to the notion that this process is victim centred.

It has been increasingly plain over recent years that terrorist apologists have been at the heart of legacy planning. The government has been hopeless in defending the UK’s own record. They might say they left it to local politicians to decide, but they should have helped those who want to defend a state that prevented civil war against liars and propagandists.

Look how the ever-partisan Irish government, to the delight of republican terrorists, is trying to humiliate Britain in Europe over certain legacy cases that involve allegations against in the UK. Yet, in a spectacular negotiating failure at Stormont House in 2014, no process was established to put a spotlight on Irish harbouring of IRA murderers.

Problems such as UK state forces being judged to a sub criminal standard, by the ombudsman, in civil cases and legacy inquests, have been brewing for years. What did a Tory government do? Not only nothing but a ‘police misconduct’ element to HIU will get even greater powers than the ombudsman. No wonder Sinn Fein want legacy implemented.

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said that London was going to make changes to legacy. We expect those changes to be major. If not, there is no hiding the scale of opposition to this process.