Veterans ‘bitterly disappointed’ as government stalls on legacy again

A military veterans’ group has said its members are “bitterly disappointed” that new government legislation on dealing with the legacy of the Troubles has been “kicked down the road again” until the autumn.

By Mark Rainey
Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 9:27 pm
Updated Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 9:35 pm
Paul Young of Justice for NI Veterans Original
Paul Young of Justice for NI Veterans Original

Justice for Northern Ireland Veterans Original (JFNIV) said its representatives are prepared to engage with a further consultation process, but they are growing increasingly dismayed that the prosecution of veterans continues while the government delays implementing promised protections.

In a statement, the NIO said a new round of talks would take place “to establish an agreed collective way forward on Northern Ireland legacy issues in light of the concerns raised,” and added: “The talks will have as their objective to find an agreed way forward that will allow implementing legislation to be introduced in both UK and Ireland by the end of this autumn.”

JFNIV spokesman Paul Young responded, saying: “We are bitterly disappointed but not surprised that the secretary of state has kicked the proposed legislation down the road until August. But we will take part in any consultation process and again put our views in a calm and open manner, as we have done in the past with the [Westminster] Northern Ireland Affairs Committee and other consultations.

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“The NI secretary had previously said he would bring forward legislation before the summer recess at Westminster which begins next week.”

Mr Young added: “We won’t give up and we will put our views forward as we have done in the past.”