Victims ‘not convinced’ that deal will meet their needs

An aerial view of the Maze Long Kesh site. IVU believes it's development could be back on the table.
An aerial view of the Maze Long Kesh site. IVU believes it's development could be back on the table.

An umbrella group for terror victims says it is not convinced by parties involved in the current political talks that their needs will be met.

Kenny Donaldson of Innocent Victims United (IVU) highlighted the recent arrest of a former solider in relation to Bloody Sunday.

IVU has been consistent that anyone who engages in acts of criminality should face “the full rigours of the law and due process [should be] followed”.

However there is a great deal of concern, he said, that there is a hierarchical approach where members of the security forces appear to be “fair game” for prosecution “but where others (including those in elected political office) who held very senior roles within the Provisional IRA appear to be immune from prosecution. That policy cannot be allowed to become embedded any further”.

“We have consistently raised concern that the proposed new Historical Investigations Unit and Independent Commission on Information Retrieval (ICIR) are constructed in a manner where innocent victims of republican and loyalist terrorism have limited prospects of obtaining justice, truth and accountability and we stand by that analysis.

“We have not been convinced by the political parties involved in the current talks process that our constituency of victims’ needs will be delivered upon.”

IVU has also heard speculation that the Maze ‘Conflict Transformation Project’ may be back on the table, but such a project “will not be tolerated by the innocent victims and survivors of terrorism”.

He added: “IVU appeals to the governments and political parties to stand together in insisting that terrorism’s grip upon this society is released once and for all.

“No political party which comprises the Northern Ireland Executive can be directed by an armed terrorist organisation and neither is it acceptable for that terror organisation to murder individuals who would be broadly of the community which it claims to represent in what has been termed ‘operations of internal housekeeping’.

He added that Stormont must not be “saved at any cost” or it will be consigned to “a Mafia-esque controlled state”.