Northern Irish campaigner Raymond McCord will take British government to court over Brexit

Posted By: September 05, 2016

By  Erica Doyle Higgins. Irish Post. Monday, September 5, 2016.

PROMINENT Northern Irish victims’ rights campaigner Raymond McCord is set to take the British Government to court following the historic Brexit vote.

Raymond McCord is launching a case of judicial review at the High Court in Belfast today.

Mr. McCord and his lawyer, Ciarán O’Hare, have said that triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty without parliamentary voting on the move would be “unlawful.”

“What we’re asking is, plain and simple, that Theresa May doesn’t invoke Article 50 without a vote in parliament,” Mr. McCord told The Irish Post. , “I believe that if it goes to parliament, they’ll struggle to get the vote through.”

Mr. Mc Cord has been campaigning for rights of victims of The Troubles since his son, Raymond Jr’s death in 1997.

“His body was found on Remembrance Sunday. They [the police] came into my house and they told me my son’s body had been found. I don’t remember another thing. Two minutes later they left the house and didn’t tell me anything else.”

In a Police Ombudsman’s report from 2007 conducted by Nuala O’Loan, it found that information held by the police, and corroborated from a number of sources, indicates that an informant, who was in prison at the time, ordered the murder of Raymond McCord Jr, and that another man, who was on leave from the prison, carried it out.

The report also established that “there were a number of failures with the murder investigation which may have significantly reduced the possibility of anyone ever being prosecuted for the crime. They include a failure to seize a suspect’s clothing from prison and the destruction of exhibits, including the car believed to have been used in the attack.”

“For 18 and a half years I have fought with the police, fought the justice system, I’ve been to America, I’ve been to Europe, to  the European parliament to speak, had a congressional hearing on Raymond’s murder, but nothing has happened,” said McCord.

After the Brexit vote, Northern Ireland is in a particular position, he states.

“Northern Ireland is in a unique situation in that the majority of people here voted to remain in Europe; I was one of them and I’m from the Unionist community.”

“I believe that there won’t be stability [if Britain leaves the European Union]. There are parts to be upheld of the Good Friday Agreement for the unique relationship between North and South here.”

Mr. Mc Cord, who has been to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg representing the cases of victims across Northern Ireland says that leaving the EU removes the opportunity for victims campaigners to have a ‘backup.’

“Under EU law – solicitors will have fancy labels and terms and explanations, and the legalities of it but for myself and other victims, it’s really simple – under European law, it says the right to life, and the state has a duty to protect that right.”

“The state has failed. We are left with no other choice but to take them to European courts on this as a last resort and if Brexit goes through, that right will be taken away from us.”