It is profoundly hurtful and insulting, though not surprising, that the victims of terrorism have been exposed to further retraumatisation by the Victims and Survivors Service, the organisers of the conference held in Belfast’s Titanic centre this week.
One of the guest speakers was a former (maybe even currently serving) commander of the chief victim-maker, the IRA.
Regardless of what he said, his very presence demonstrates the sheer insensitivity of the organisers to the feelings of his victims.
His organisation’s refusal to disclose to the authorities what it knows about its terrorist campaign is as despicable as it is retraumatising for his victims.
The VSS is utterly unworthy to be the vehicle that supports these victims and should be disbanded immediately.
Further, any victim of terrorism or supporter of victims of terrorism who attended this conference without protest has given much needed cover to the IRA’s presence and has also sanitised and legitimised its nefarious activities.
It is difficult to understand why victims and their funders think it a good thing to insult other victims of terrorism!
Having been at funder-run conferences in the past, I remember protesting by walking out of the conference when ‘bomber’ Kelly arrived with his colleague Jeffrey Donaldson MP.
I think victims of terrorism and their organisations have been bought by the government, or worse, have sold their souls to the IRA Army Council inclusive executive and its quangos, all to get a few thousand pounds of funding to keep them going.
But on top of the ongoing insult meted out by establishment bodies, groups and organisations truly will not bite the hand that funds them.
That is but another way of saying that their silence has been bought and paid for by the government.
J. E. Hazlett Lynch (Dr), Victims Campaigner, Co Londonderry