It is now time for the innocent victims of terror to take back control

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

It’s hard to imagine the trauma inflicted upon a rape victim having to endure almost daily taunts and snide remarks from the perpetrator of the crime.

Yet, in light of the outrageous comments by Sinn Fein within their so called response to the legacy proposals, namely that the British government were “the main conflict protagonists”, innocent victims could well be forgiven for feeling like a rape victim who has yet again been forced to endure sneering and mocking comments from their attacker.

Of course, not only were the comments a contradiction of the facts, in that terrorists were responsible for almost ninety percent of the deaths during the conflict, it is also the case that the British government were dragged into the conflict as peacekeepers in the first place, only to be turned on by the IRA.

These comments by Sinn Fein therefore, are yet another example of the cynical rewriting of the history which has been their trademark for some time.

Sadly however, the comments also show that those at the helm of the republican movement are still very much wedded to a hate fuelled, and even racist mind-set.

This inability to move on clearly indicates that having to facilitate these unapologetic purveyors of terror in any meaningful legacy process, is doomed to failure. It’s time therefore that our government woke up to this truth, and in particular, it’s time those in the centre left of our political spectrum here in Northern Ireland also woke up to this fact.

One of the antidotes which helps victims of crime to deal with the situation they find themselves in, is to “take back control of their lives” and in so doing eliminate where possible any contact with the perpetrator. I would therefore suggest it is now time for the victims to take back control.

It is now time for the government and those on the centre left here in Northern Ireland to support innocent victims and immediately facilitate the implementation of legislation which draws a clear distinction between the innocent victim and the perpetrator. This humane response is the only way to proceed with any meaningful legacy process, and in so doing will give back some degree of control to those who truly deserve it, the innocent victims of terror.

Finally, in a plea specifically to the political centre left; the astute readers among you will not miss the stark similarities between this caricature of the victim’s plight and that of a certain brave individual who, in such a real life scenario, has had to endure precisely the same treatment from those very same perpetrators.

Again therefore, I plead with you to do the right thing, and stand alongside the innocent victims of terrorism.

Ken McFarland, Omagh