May talking nonsense

Posted By: May 10, 2018


Distributed by Irish National Caucus

“The victims of the British government—whether because of collusion or direct murder by police and security forces—  continue to suffer great injustice. And, now, the British prime minister exponentially adds to that injustice, by —in the words of the moderate Irish News of Belfast—‘talking nonsense.’ (See Editorial below).

Because of its artificial history, undemocratic and sectarian purpose, it was inevitable that the vast majority of British government victims in Northern Ireland would be Catholics.

However, it is important to remember that when it suited, the British government also colluded in the murder of Protestants—as the case of the late Raymond McCord, Jr.vividly illustrates.

Fr. Sean McManus  

Irish News Editorial. Belfast. Thursday, May 10, 2018

We know that legacy cases from our violent past are among the most difficult and sensitive matters yet to be resolved, with bereaved families waiting decades to be told the full circumstances of a loved one’s death.

Many of the killings carried out during the Troubles were inadequately investigated while delays and obstruction on the part of the British government have prolonged the suffering of victims, some of whom have passed away before learning the truth.

In particular, there has been a reluctance to disclose information in relation to killings by members of the security forces. Just last month a coroner ruled that a British soldier was not justified in shooting dead a pregnant teenager, Marian Brown, in 1972. Her family had waited 46 years to be told the truth.

There is no doubt that the focus on the actions of former soldiers has caused deep disquiet among some Tory MPs, who have been particularly vocal in calling for a statute of limitations.

They are entitled to raise issues in respect of their constituents but they are ignoring the wider implications of such a move, which could effectively mean an amnesty for paramilitaries.

The DUP, victims’ representatives, Sinn Féin and the Dublin government have all voiced concerns at such a plan but that did not stop senior Tories putting pressure on Theresa May at Westminster yesterday. However, in an exchange that will do little to inspire confidence among victims and the wider public in Northern Ireland, Mrs. May claimed that the “only people being investigated” are armed forces while “terrorists are not being investigated”.

Such a sweeping generalization bears no relation to the facts, which show that killings by the army account for around 30 percent of the PSNI’s legacy workload, with the majority relating to republicans and loyalists.

It is frankly unacceptable that the British prime minister is so out of touch on this important issue.

Bereaved families are entitled to the truth, not patent nonsense from the head of government.