James Brokenshire ignores a key point

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

The Northern Ireland Secretary of State James Brokenshire (January 29) claims investigations into killings during the Troubles are “disproportionately focusing on members of the police and Army, the vast majority of whom served in Northern Ireland with great courage, professionalism and distinction”.

However, Mr Brokenshire ignores the fundamental difference between the opposing forces during the Troubles.

Republican paramilitaries were not representing the Irish state, unlike the British Army and police in the North who were acting on behalf of the British people, the British government, and the British Head of State Queen Elizabeth II.

Mr Brokenshire could if he wished short-circuit the investigations into security force killings in Northern Ireland by simply publishing the British government initiated Stevens Report on institutional collusion between the North’s police force and loyalist death squads, the Stalker/Sampson Inquiry into security force shoot-to-kill policy in Northern Ireland, both of which have been shelved, and the withheld files on the Dublin and Monaghan bombings.

By attempting to restrict investigations into security killings in the North Mr Brokenshire appears to be suggesting that victims have a right to be angry but not to justice.

Tom Cooper, Dublin