Victims of Gadaffi’s arms imports to the IRA shouldn’t get their hopes up

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This is one of the most acute problems of Northern Ireland today- politicians raising hopes for victims that stand little or no chance of being fulfilled. As an anti-cynic I’m prepared to believe that David Cameron’s meeting with a DUP delegation over reviving compensation claims against Libya disclosed in the Sunday Telegraph wasn’t just a clumsy diversion effort from the Adams arrest (wrong constituency and timing ).At least it got Peter Robinson into Downing St, a rare occurrence these days.   It reads like one of these diplomatic moves that keeps a topic on the table for principled reasons rather than having any real hope of delivery. But hands up those who thinks Libya which is a country which in near chaos and lacks a functioning government is about to hand over millions in compensation to victims of IRA violence however well deserved? Any ideas for a cringe- making balancing move for republicans?

There is a political agenda here in the story of victims prepared to sue Tony Blair for allegedly dissociating the UK from efforts to secure Libyan compensation for them in order to make peace with Gadaffi. This could extend smoothly into Blair’s “peace” strategy In Northern Ireland and would be another exercise in futility. Tony Blair’s office rejected the charge in today’s Sunday Telegraph story.

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  • Mainland Ulsterman

    Brian,
    I wonder if this is only unrealistic because of a lack of political will … sure Libya is a mess but it also has oil wealth. The fact it has been raised diplomatically suggests it’s not wholly off the table for Libya to think about compensation for Gaddafi’s poisonous intervention in NI affairs.

    But what I don’t understand is how it has not been possible to sue SF. It does seem odd they have so much money, apparently no intention of giving any of it to their victims and under very little pressure to do so. I say ‘their victims’ advisedly, they are part of a single organisation whose other arm did the killing – again I would have thought there would be no problem establishing that in a civil court. But I’m not up on the history of the failed attempts to sue SF.

  • Mainland Ulsterman

    … though I see the McConville family is considering it now http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/jean-mcconvilles-daughter-aims-to-sue-sinn-fein-over-murder-30242071.html

    Hope they succeed. If SF had to pay even 1% of what they ought to be paying victims and families in the civil courts, they would be bankrupted and unable to operate. Might do them a favour – they need to rebrand and relaunch anyway.