‘We hope that Spain did no secret deals like Blair with IRA’

Ken Funston, Advocacy Manager at the South East Fermanagh Foundation. His brother was killled by the IRA.
Ken Funston, Advocacy Manager at the South East Fermanagh Foundation. His brother was killled by the IRA.

A representative of a Northern Ireland terror victims group says he hopes Spain did not do secret deals with ETA as Tony Blair did with the IRA.

Ken Funston, advocacy manager with the South East Fermanagh Foundation (SEFF) said ETA have negotiated for some time “to gain the maximum reward for disarming”.

“The Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy has rejected that any concessions have been made to ETA, in the same way that Tony Blair did in the late 1990s,” he said.

“Blair had already made far-reaching overt concessions, but we were to find out many years later he had made many more secret deals with the terrorists, which have only have become recently apparent.

“It remains to be seen if the Spanish government have not made similar deals.”

He noted that ETA-connected Basque leader Arnaldo Otegi, “is a close ally and friend of Sinn Fein, who had representatives attend Otegi’s recent release from prison”.

He added: “ETA’s strategy mirrors that of the IRA and they’ve been advised accordingly throughout their process with the Spanish government.

“We can only hope that for the over 800 victims of ETA terrorism, the Spanish stick to their word.

“The repercussions of a poorly negotiated ‘peace process’ in Northern Ireland that rewarded the perpetrators is still having a destructive effect on the many thousands of innocent victims in Northern Ireland today; Spain, do not make the same mistake!”