What concerns IRA victims is not what is in the Stormont House Agreement (SHA) for them but what’s in it for republicans.
History and the Belfast Agreement points to that, promises of what victims can get when it is only republicans who get certainty.
The new independent police force proposed under Historical Investigations Unit (HIU) to investigate past murders, mostly IRA, is not about lack of resources or to free up officers, as George Hamilton tried to fool us.
It’s because republicans have demanded a third police force (first RUC, then PSNI, now HIU, which they are citing Article 2 as meaning it cannot contain anyone who had a uniform, down to a member of the TA).
The SHA tells us that ex-security forces won’t be excluded from HIU. But Article 2 recruitment contradicts this.
It’s also clear now what impact the new proposed Article 2 inquest system will deliver for the IRA, against victims. It is the Trojan horse for republicans for rewriting history, proving collusion and destroying the security forces of the state.
The lack of information supplied by the Irish government on Kingsmills shows clearly how IRA victims will be treated under the new Article 2 inquest system.
The coroner will be able to compel the UK government to hand documents over without going to court, unlike now, and importantly compel any witness to attend including senior ex-services which will satisfy republican demands.
Most importantly he cannot, however, compel the Irish government to hand over documents or compel Irish citizens or ex-garda to attend. It will be entirely voluntary, creating a clear hierarchy of justice.
It’s totally unacceptable and is the worst element being proposed, yet the least talked about – no wonder, because it’s so dangerous.
The verdicts of unlawful killing that these Article 2 inquests will be able to deliver will further show they are a tool designed to destroy the state when cases like Loughgall etc are now suddenly being re-examined to shine a bad light on the state.
This SHA needs to go to a public consultation as IRA victims can have no confidence in it as it currently stands.
William Frazer, Spokesperson FAIR, Markethill