TUV, SDLP and UUP host victims commemoration at Stormont

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Alan has a post on the Alternative Ms. Ulster event hosted by Steven Agnew at Stormont on Sunday complete with the inspiring / daring / indecent, speech/ behaviour by Ms. Park. In contrast yesterday the UUP, SDLP and TUV hosted the third annual day of remembrance for victims of terrorism.

120 people attended and three people spoke: Michelle Nixon who has been caring for her brother since he was seriously injured in 1979 by an IRA bomb in Rosslea; June McMullan whose husband John Proctor was murdered by IRA terrorist Seamus Martin Kearney in 1981 in the grounds of the Mid Ulster Hospital in Magherafelt and Thomas Boswell who survived a murder bid by the INLA in Belfast aged 18.

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  • Charles_Gould

    Turgon thank you for this.

    I get the sense that in recent years, we are hearing more from victims, and hearing from ones we have not hear from before. I welcome this, as I think that we need to hear their story before it is too late for it to be told. During the troubles we had limited capacity to take in all these stories, and in the peace process the stories were inconvenient. Perhaps only now do the victims have room to speak and a listening audience?

    Last year more people will have heard Ann Travers story who will not have known much of it before. But we also heard from the Shankill Bomb victims, and the victims of the loyalist murders that followed that Bomb; there was a very moving meeting of these victims in the UTV studio. I find it very important to listen to these voices.

    If true then I like that victims are getting a voice.

    In giving them a voice I hope we can make sure they are respected and they are free to tell their story in whatever way they feel is right for them. They are a diverse group – from all backgrounds. They respond differently, and we have to respect that.

  • Red Lion

    How come certain parties were involved in the hosting and not others eg DUP?

    Being a carer since 1979 just hits me; there are no words.

  • aquifer

    Good to hear from victims of violence.

    We hear too much from perps and promoters of conflict.

  • sbelfastunionist

    Red Lion

    I suspect it is a technicality of the system. The main sponsor of an event at Stormont, in this case Jim Allister, has to obtain the signature of two other MLAs on a cross community basis before they can have their event. Therefore, Jim would have selected which two other MLAs to approach to co-sign for the event and Jim presumably would have decided who to invite. In many cases, the two other signatories may not even been actively involved or even attend the specific event.

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    EU press release: Victims of Terrorism – Tenth European Day on Remembrance of Victims of Terrorism – European Commission – STATEMENT/14/55 11/03/2014

    TUV press release: Allister to Host Third Annual Event Marking European Day for Victims of Terrorism

    There’s also a NAVT website – Network of Associations of Victims of Terrorism – www dot europeanvictims dot net. WAVE Trauma Centre is a member of NAVT.

    The BBC NI News story “John Proctor’s widow address victims ceremony at Stormont” makes no mention of the EU/NAVT connection.

  • http://www.selfhatinggentile.blogger.com tmitch57

    The event would be much more effective if it also featured victims of loyalist terrorism.

  • sherdy

    Do the SDLP not know of any victims of state violence and murder who might have been willing to address such a gathering?

  • Barnshee

    “The event would be much more effective if it also featured victims of loyalist terrorism.”

    Here here

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    That should be “Hear Hear”. Pedant Joe

  • MonkDeWallyDeHonk

    Tmitch57

    Totally agree. I can’t say that I’m surprised that the TUV and UUP are focusing on PUL victims – I thought the SDLP might have a bit more backbone.

    Charles Gould

    “They are a diverse group – from all backgrounds”. Sounds like the victims invited to speak all came from the same background.

    I do agree with you that victims have largely been ignored – however, in this case, the TUV + UUP seem to have indulged in their familiar behavior of ignoring the victims of “Loyalist” terrorism.

    It also seems that the SDLP went along with this perhaps to try and score points over SF.

    I feel sorry for any victims of terrorism – however, I think this event has been sullied by the TUV/UUP trying to use it for political purposes and the SDLP either being at best naïve or at worst also indulging in petty points scoring.

  • Morpheus

    I totally agree MonkDeWallyDeHonk. I find it nauseating when our political parties talk about ‘the victims’ when really they want to talk about ‘their’ victims.

    I find Jim “I’m all about the victims” Allister particularly hard to listen to. He talks about Ann’s Law as if it was a victory for the victims when in reality it was all about sticking a finger in the eye of SF. There’s a £200m Saville Report sitting there with all the work done for him, no need for new laws, does anyone for one second think he would put an ounce of energy into getting justice for those victims?

    It’s the same across the board – the victims are used when it is politically expedient like when, for example, an election is coming up.

  • Doug

    Now Now folks, there were IRA & INLA victims there – surely that counts as diversity?

  • IrelandNorth

    Against the backdrop of a particularly difficult history of the British and/or Irish (Celtic or Brythonic) Isles, everyone was a victim to a great or lesser extent, even perpetrators quite ironically. Victims of their own egos, that is! Others of us were victims of others’ egos. Real question being, can we cultivate sufficient humility to match the title many of us presume to trade under, ie Christian. Paramilitary violence is a reaction to military violence. Military violence to civil disobedience. But surely the mother of all violence was constitutional violence. Fortunately reason prevails.