Amid all the claims against the state for stress and damage through the course of the troubles, are 5000 serving and former police officers who have decided to take the state to the High Court for trauma arising from 30 years of what was at times gruesome terrorist atrocities. The hearing will focus on twelve demonstration cases to focus the court’s attention on the nature of some of the cases. The cases are concentrated on the period from the late 1970’s onward, when RUC chiefs would have been aware of the risks and dangers of policing in ‘sub war’ conditions. PA quotes a spokesman:
A legal case cannot remake lives. All that a court can order in this kind of case is financial compensation, and for many of those in the cohort, there is a real need for compensation and financial support, despite all the pensions and other existing arrangements. This case is not about police officers complaining about trivial things. It is about people with real problems, in some cases suffering from serious and incapacitating psychiatric illness as a consequence of years of relentless and repeated exposure to horror, hatred, violence and death. They were exposed to those things in order to protect us.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty