A victims’ group has called for a formal acknowledgement from the UK and Irish governments and all terrorist organisations that “the use of criminal violence was never justified in the furtherance of or defence of a political objective”.
Innocent Victims United is an umbrella organisation for 23 groups with a combined membership of over 11,500 victims and survivors, and spokesman Kenny Donaldson said that “until this fundamental truth is agreed we are destined to fail as a society”.
He further called for the political system to “stop hurting victims and survivors”.
“Many, many victims and survivors just don’t trust the political system and this is borne out of their lived experience with what has happened heretofore; the politically expedient definition of victim, Royal Prerogatives of Mercy for terrorists, OTR assurance letters for terror suspects, the daily rewrite of the past by elements of the political system, academia, some within our churches and broader civic society structures,” he said.
“IVU and others will not stand idly by and allow the political system to misuse its’ mandate in governing irresponsibly.
“The starting point for any future policy developed around the area of victims and survivors and also ‘dealing with the past’ must have at its heart a commitment to do no further harm or damage to those who have been hurt so badly already,” he added.