Kenny Donaldson: London’s response to Libya-IRA victims shows that UK is a soft touch for terrorism

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, above at his desert base south of Tripoli in Libya with Tony Blair in 2007, sponsored IRA terror but the UK has failed to secure compensation for  victims, unlike other nations. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, above at his desert base south of Tripoli in Libya with Tony Blair in 2007, sponsored IRA terror but the UK has failed to secure compensation for victims, unlike other nations. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The UK government’s dismissive response to the NIAC Report into Gaddafi-sponsored PIRA terrorism and the issue of compensation for innocent victims as made public last week typifies the approach of the UK government on these issues – innocent victims are nothing more than collateral damage.

The UK government stands alone in its dereliction of duty to its own citizens who have been so grievously impacted by Gaddafi-sponsored terrorism.

Letter to the editor

Letter to the editor

Other nation states (including Germany, France and the US) have not treated their innocents with such contempt.

Effectively what the UK state are saying is: we’re prepared to keep providing tea and biccies and offer patronising sympathy but when it comes to standing by victims’ rights and unashamedly pursuing their legitimate grievances, we are opting out.

This position is the position of cowardice and is both politically and morally indefensible.

The UK government repeatedly pushes its chest out when terror attacks happen, there is the pomp and ceremony, there are the strong and well-crafted words of repudiation of that terrorism and violence at the time but what happens after for those left devastated? The answer is ... very little.

As things stand the UK government has also treated The Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee with utter disdain, their detailed inquiry and the resultant report has been consigned to the dustbin.

The UK government believes that the problem will just go away when the first generation of innocent victims of terrorism die, how callous a position is this to adopt?

The prime minister has a duty to lead. On the matter of terrorism, there is no leading being done, the UK is a soft touch for terrorism and to compound that fact, the UK government treats its innocent victims as pariahs.

Innocent victims and survivors of Gadaffi-sponsored PIRA terrorism have been contacting our office and are asking the question; where does the DUP stand on this?

Was this issue not part of their understanding with the Tories? Had they prior knowledge of the government’s position or were they blind-sided by its response?

It is understandable that victims are left wondering just how high a priority they are for those in supposed positions of influence.

In recent days we received an invitation (as will others) via the FCO’s Libyan Reconciliation Unit and Alistair Burt (minister for the Middle East and North Africa) inviting us to attend a meeting to discuss the “latest developments in Libya and the government’s response to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee report”.

Unless the UK government is prepared pro-actively to advocate on behalf of its own citizens and their legitimate grievances we wonder what the point is to the LRU – is it merely a glorified talking shop?

Enough is enough; this society needs to do better.

As Gandhi once remarked: ‘The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.’

How would Ganhdi view our Society? Gandhi would want the innocent to receive the support they need for their lives to become that bit more bearable.

Why is there a lack of Gandhi-esque motivated politicians within the UK political system?

Kenny Donaldson, Co Fermanagh