Irish victim groups put pressure on US president


The British government’s proposal to end all inquiries, inquiries and prosecutions of the murky conduct of its soldiers in Northern Ireland between 1969 and 1998, caused furor. The families of those who died from the guns and bombs of British soldiers as well as Irish and British terrorists are determined that Boris Johnson is not allowed to get away with this development, which undermines all principles justice in a modern democratic society and is keen to let its military veterans get away with it. As Ken Murray reports from Dublin, a number of victim groups appear poised to put pressure on US President Joe Biden (Photo) in the hope that he will lean on the British Prime Minister to back down.

Some readers may find it extraordinary that 23 years after the signing of the Anglo-Irish Peace Agreement in 1998 and the official end of the “Troubles”, the families of those who died in the conflict are still grappling with legal proceedings. costly, frustrating and time-consuming legal matters. actions against the UK government seeking compensation but, more importantly, elusive answers!

The role of the British Army in some of the most gruesome murders during the conflict includes the Bloody Sunday Massacre of 1972 in Derry City where 14 innocent victims were shot by soldiers from the Parachute Regiment.


Not only did the British make a mess of his explanation for the murders, but Lord Widgery in his subsequent report lied to the world by saying “the [British] the soldiers had been fired first!

His poor attempt to make a whitewashed report caused the IRA’s numbers to surpass his wildest dreams, which helped prolong a conflict that was still in its infancy.

After continued pressure on successive UK governments, a 12-year, 5,000-page second Blood Sunday Inquiry led by Lord Saville and costing the UK taxpayer just under £ 200million, produced a different result claiming that the shooting of innocent victims was “unwarranted” resulting in Prime Minister David Cameron issuing a public apology in the House of Commons in June 2010.


Meanwhile, the emergence that some British soldiers and MI5 officers were working in unison with Ulster Volunteer Force terrorists to assassinate targeted Irish Republicans, has seen a growing number of Catholic families seeking answers to the murders. controversies of their relatives.

Unsurprisingly, the British have played hard in all subsequent legal actions.

As Stephen Travers, a survivor of the Miami Showband massacre in 1975, as seen on Netflix, put it New Radio in Dublin last week, “the British establishment is playing the long game by applying the three Ds of denying, delaying and dying”.

In other words, if the UK government can delay the growing number of lawsuits they face from the families of the victims, it is likely that those bringing the lawsuit or the British soldiers defending themselves will be dead. the moment they go to court thus nullifying the justification for such a case, thus leaving the British to extricate themselves from their alleged murders!

In recent months, pressure has grown on the British to confess their illegal activities after a coroner ruled last May that ten Catholics shot dead by Her Majesty’s Army in Ballymurphy Belfast in 1971 were entirely innocent .

Ballymurphy’s discovery set a precedent that until last week was seen as embarrassing and financially costly for the London government, a precedent that has the potential to reveal that some elements of the British military have deliberately murdered innocent Irish Catholics for no good reason!

To add to the frustration felt by families who have lost loved ones to the conflict, earlier this month the Public Prosecution Service of Northern Ireland announced plans to drop the charges against two former British soldiers – Soldier F for the murder of two men during Bloody Sunday in 1972 and Soldier B for the murder of Daniel Hegarty, 15, six months later, perhaps a sign that the British government is ready to do anything to protect its own.

When the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis, announced last week that a statute of limitations was proposed to close all investigations, lawsuits and proceedings to deal with actions against the UK security services as well as Catholic and Protestant terrorist groups, his remarks provoked outrage. across the island of Ireland.

For the first time in a long time, British Unionists and Irish Nationalists in Northern Ireland were, surprisingly, united for once on the same issue!

Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin said “the announcement was unacceptable and amounted to betrayal”.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney was a little more diplomatic, saying: “The Irish government has a very different point of view… as do the NI political parties and victim groups.

“This is not one accomplished fact“, he added on Twitter.

To complicate matters, the British actually came to an agreement with the Irish government in the 2014 talks at Stormont House to sort out legacy issues from the past, assuring suffering families that their respective issues would be dealt with in a satisfactory manner.

However, Brandon Lewis’ surprise announcement last week even angered the opposition benches in Westminster.

Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Labor MP Louise Haigh has said UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson needs to properly explain the move.

“This government gave the victims their word [that] they would deliver the appropriate investigations denied to victims and their families for so long.

“To tear this promise apart would be insulting and to do so without the slightest hint of consultation with those who have lost loved ones would be incredibly callous.”

Meanwhile, the group of victims are looking across the Atlantic Ocean to exert political pressure on the British.

Dublin-based Margaret Urwin, who represents’ Justice for the Forgotten ‘, said:’ I call on the Irish government to put pressure on US President Joe Biden.

“They have nothing to lose,” she said.

Eugene Reavey’s three innocent brothers were shot dead by the UVF with the support of rogue members of the British Army at their home in South Armagh in January 1976.

He jointly runs TARP – the Truth and Reconciliation Platform – and vowed that until the day he died he would follow the London government to the ends of the earth to seek justice for his brothers and those murdered by the military. British.

Speaking to this week, he said: “I am writing to Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and begging her to pressure President Biden to rely on the British for ensure that this limitation period is not applied.

“Nancy Pelosi’s son-in-law is Irish and Joe Biden’s ancestors were Irish. We have influential support in Washington and we aim to make sure we use it to the fullest to ensure the British don’t get away with this one.

“They have been working on it for centuries and it is time that their lies and bad deeds were finally exposed to the rest of the world.”

Margaret Urwin and Eugene Reavey’s appeals are unlikely to fall on deaf ears.

Last year, as the EU / UK Brexit Withdrawal Agreement neared completion, President Biden said he would not support a US trade deal with London if British actions undermine the deal. from 1998. [Good Friday] Peace agreement.

It looks like the next few months could be uncomfortable for the stiff upper lips of the British establishment.



Kevin E. Boling

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