Ongoing hurt, ongoing fight for redress

Michelle Williamson talks about the importance to her of the legal suit in America against the Libyan government being taken by victims of semtex bombs and the impact the murder of her parents still has upon her.

  • Crataegus

    I wish them every success in their law suit.

    This is very, very sad especially when one compares the treatment of victims and that of the murders. Clearly all that mattered was might.

    I have met quite a few people injured or bereaved in what is euphemistically called the troubles, and it is clear to me that there is a wound left that will never fully heal. Generally they don’t trust people, they tend to suffer depression, can’t concentrate, become inward looking and morose. To add to this we have treated many of the victims appallingly, but equally we tend to glorify those that carried out the deeds just to add some salt into the wounds.

    I have taken a few bits out of the article and copied below, to reinforce the point that violence merely creates more problems that can’t be fixed. No one should be made to suffer like this on the alter of any political dogma. How does anyone pick up the pieces after suffering such trauma? In my view those that espouse violence to further a political objective are simply criminals be they Prime Ministers or leaders of political parties. We should all demand that they account for their actions. Unfortunately political reality dictates that we have to do a deal so those most responsible get off Scot free. This only happens because we as individuals allow ourselves to be pigeon holed into a camp instead of collectively arguing for our collective common interests and standards, and that’s really sad.

    “I do find it difficult to trust people. I was refused compensation as a victim of the Troubles, as I was told I wasn’t actually involved in the incident. “I wasn’t actually there, no, but I lost everything that day.
    “An hour or so later I was kissing my dad goodbye on a trolley in the Royal Victoria Hospital as the blood poured from his head. I’ll never get that image out of my head.
    “My biggest regret is that I never saw my mum again. I never got to kiss her goodbye.
    “I have been seeing the doctor every couple of weeks since my parents’ death – I suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. I have constant nightmares about the bomb and have been very depressed at times.

    FOR WHAT EXACTLY!!!!!!!?????

  • lib2016

    I opposed and still oppose physical force republicanism for the simple reason that the British do it better. Surely the successive British governments who backed Unionist tyranny to the extent of forcing so many ordinary Nationalists to dispair of political justice have a great deal to answer for?

    Do you feel the ordinary Iraqis murdered by the Allies should similarly sue the British and American Governments?

  • Crataegus

    lib2016

    As I said above

    In my view those that espouse violence to further a political objective are simply criminals be they Prime Ministers or leaders of political parties. And yes I think ordinary Iraqis have a case, but where to take it?

    I think we need to be a lot more vocal in our opposition to violence, it simply should not be acceptable. We may not be able to undo the past but we may help to change the future.

  • missfitz

    I think this is particularly sad as it is fairly certain to be one more false hope.

    In my study of the trauma of the troubles, one of the things that struck me were the fantasies that victims pursue. There is the fantasy of revenge, the fanstasy of compensation and so on. Sadly, they can chase these things for years, and find to their bitterest disappointment that it relieves nothing, brings nothing back.

    While I wish Michelle well, I would also fear that this is possibly not the best course of action for someone who suffers the effects of trauma.

    I wish to be sensitive in this thread, as it is not an easy issue, and there is great sadness.

    I agree with Crat, what was it all about? Civil rights? Governance?

    I think we have all been too wound up in this to see the humanity and perhaps it really will take a few generations for us to get the real vision back of respect for our fellow man/woman

  • I was wondering how long the whataboutery would take.

    Crat good post.

    I’m gald that Michelle has had the courage to be so open and not to kow tow to the pressure to put on a brave face and pretend that everything is OK.

  • lib2016

    bertie,

    Safer to believe that it wuz all themmuns fault? We’ve seen both communities follow that line and it wasn’t very satisfactory for anyone.

    Crat,

    Complete pacifism takes a better man than me but thankyou for taking my post seriously.

  • lib

    not at all, but that is still no reason for whataboutery.

    Now back to Michelle and the all to often hidden and ignored results of terrorism.

  • Busty Brenda

    This is the law suit in which Martin Ingram is taking the side of the Libyians., I in NO way support his stand on this issue. I believe he will make things doubly difficult for these victims to gain compensation from Gadaffi. This is one time when MI should keep his nose out.

    I wish them good luck. All victims of our conflict should get redress.

  • ingram

    Copied this response from the other forum.

    Busty,

    You are being over simplistic. The Libyans know full well that the issue is not straightforward.

    I accept the Libyans supplied weapons after receiving a request from elements within the IRA . Some of these elements today are suspected of being Agents of the British state.

    Once the arms have reached the Island of Ireland a large portion of these arms came into the possession of the IRA and Agents of the state. To give just one example Frank Hegarty.

    Not all arms and explosives was recovered in a deliberate plan to allow certain munitions to run, with the aim of catching other fish or to build the profile of the Agent.

    Now clearly the Libyans have a responsibility but also the British state does too for the direction and involvemnt of its own Agents in the production and exploitation of these decisions.

    My fear is the case could go on for years building the hopes of the Victims only to be felled from a compelling argument that other parties share a similar/greater degree of culperability than the Libyans. If we start this case upon the basis of bring all responsible to the dock together then I believe tnhbhe victims have a greater chance of success.

    I invite you once more to explain what is the difference between the Libyans suppling the IRA and the FRU supplying the UDA South African arms?I am interested in ALL VICTIMS including IRA and security force members.

    I look forward to your reply.

    Martin

    Posted by ingram on May 01, 2006 @ 06:22 PM
    I can’t see what reason O’Rawe would have to

  • missfitz

    I dont know, and as I said I want to remain respectful of the individual concerned here, but where would actions like this stop?

    Do we sue Shell for petrol bombs?
    Rubber plantation owners for rubber bullets?
    The Germans for not arriving at Banna Strand?

    I dont know the Law, but I didnt think the culpability would have lain with the vendor?

    BB, that is not to say I am unsympathetic, but as I said earlier, this fantasy of compensation can destroy lives as people chase something that is not going to happen.

    And if there was compensation, the awful thing is that she still wont have her parents, and it will all start all over again

  • Busty Brenda

    Martin, I have replied to these posts on the other thread. Phew you are like a sprinter, I cannot keep up.

    I believe you are involving yourself where you should not be involved. You contacted the Libyian gov, by your own admission and from that position you must have given them this idea. Why not go to the counsell for the victims and suggest this may be a potential problem, why go to the Libyians whom the victims are trying to sue and offer your services?

    This is not about truth martin, these people know the truth. Its about compensation.

  • Busty Brenda

    Missfitz,

    Other parties have been successful in getting compensation from Gadaffi, why not these people. 160 of them in a class action in the United States. The victims families of Lockerbie did a wonderful job, why not these people? If someone has died and left a family then that family is entitled to redress. There have been too many orphans on both sides of our conflict, they deserve something if they can get it. better to try and fail than not to have tried at all. I believe their chance would have been much easier if Martin had not contacted the Libyian embassy, which now makes things doubly difficult.

    Willie Frazier, and remember I am an RC, but he looks after his own. I have no problem with that. If he can get these victims something, fair play to him. Maybe the victims of the UDA who used and procured arms from S Africa will be able to mount an action. What ever the case it’d would have remained simplier for these victims to have got redress if M Ingram had kept his nose out.

    No offence Martin, I know you would work on peoples behalf, but in this case you are not doing that. You have of your own violation gone to the Libyians and made things difficult. Why? David Shaylers’ unfinished business.

    Bad move.

  • I would imagine that most of the victims will beleive in the money if and when it materialises. They have been let down on so many things so many times before. With no win no fee the layers must have come expectations of sucess.

    However the money is probably the least issue. It is about accountability and making a stand.

  • BB
    “Maybe the victims of the UDA who used and procured arms from S Africa will be able to mount an action. ”

    It would be great of thos were possible. It is a shame that any innocent victims are excluded from this action.

  • missfitz

    BB
    No knowledge in this area at all, but can I ask a question? In the case of Lockerbie, did the Libyan government not have a direct role in it?

    I’m just thinking of accountability and all that, but what on earth do you mean that Martin Ingram went to the Libyian embassy?

  • ingram

    Busty,

    The cases which have been won to date have involved members of the Libyan Intelligence community in direct involvement.This case would be breaking new ground.

    I believe I am acting in the interests of the victims by making clear now and not in five years time the difficulties and requirements for a successful outcome to this legal action.

    Martin

  • mark

    Honest question.

    Why is the US hearing a case involving British citizens against Libya on allegations that relate to activity in Libya, Ireland, Britain or en-route? Why is the case not before a British/Irish/Libyan/European court or UN tribunal?

    I’m seriously confused on why/how charges are filed in the US. Can anyone explain?

  • Busty Brenda

    missfitz,

    Martin Ingram contacted the libyian embassy to offer his services to them. he then contacted maurice fitzmaurice of the mirror newspaper to say that the libyians intend to fight this tooth and nail. I feel it was a dirty action done to thwart the victims and I have made my position clear to him more than once.

    The Northern Irish situation is different yes in that the libyians did not have direct action, they did it by proxy, ie thru the IRA. But they had already admitted liability in the issue when they agreed thatt they did give the arms to the IRA.

    M ingram is a british citizen who has admitted that he contacted the Libyians and then gone on to make that action worse by offering their view point to the press! Why thwart the actions of British (or Irish) citizens and also US citizens since one man is a US citizen hurt in the Harrods explosion, why do that. It all comes back to the David Shayler affair when he claimed British intelligence wanted to kill Gadaffi.

    His action are about getting the british government, rather than helping the victims. Yet he has claimed to be a champion of victims. He certainly has lessened their chances.

  • Busty Brenda

    missfitz,

    ps I should have said, the Libyians had already admitted they were culpable in giving the arms to the IRA BEFORE M Ingram went to them to offer to contest this case on their behlf. his defence of saving the victims from a later fate is disingenious, since he did not contact the solicitors working for the victims nor the victims themselves, he went direct to the Libyians AFTER the Libyians had already admitted culpability in this matter. For the libyians to fight this case on the grounds of agent provacateurs, ie fulton, this idea CAME FROM Martin.

    Nowhere in the media has the Libyians put forward their view on fighting this, Martin is doing the talking for them.

    There was no need Martin. You should have kept on the side of right and gone to the victims or their counsel.

  • Busty Brenda

    ‘International terror,and middle eastern terror and Irish terror are inextricably linked’
    a quote from this link:-

    http://www.members.lycos.co.uk/inac/mideast.html

  • At least if the Libyians fight it tooth and nail it offers more opportunties to highlight the issues.

    BB you inform us of a despicable act made IMO more despicable by the claim the be acting in the victims interests. I’m sure that it hurts him more than it hurts them.

    I do not now who this guy really is but I hope that most viotims steer clear of Slugger and so avoid having to read this

  • NYL

    Is this case doomed to failure, do the american courts have jurisdiction, are the lawyers running a high charging, legally fruitless campaign in the america hoping to embarrass a settlement from which they claim american billed time or do they seek a true judgement in court? I dont see how this american case can have a result for anyone but US citizens signing up but can see how an out of court settlement could benefit a London law company billing US time on a no-win no-fee basis but hoping to skim a large out of court settlement. How much is H2O asking from the families payout? Times/costs plus what percentage? Is the pointless american stuff a billing or publicity ploy? This case being held in the US stinks of a lawyer scam.

  • Busty Brenda.

    NYL the Libyian gov have accepted they supplied the stuff to the IRA. the case is to be contested in the US by UK and US lawyers.The US lawyers will argue that Libya is responsible for terrorism here because they supplied the stuff to the IRA. State sponsored terrorism by Libya thru the IRA. M Ingrams contention is that the Brit gov is also liable, since they used agent provacateurs like kevin fulton. BUT my contention is when Libya sold the stuff to the IRA they had no knowledge of agent provacateurs, they sold the stuff to the IRA purely and simply for terrorist reasons. More than 4 boat loads of it I think.

    Now what ever your position on that, I also think it was wrong of Martin to go to the Libyians directly, as he has admitted and offer your services to them, and then defend your actions by saying you are trying to save the victims from a later fate.
    I understand the immense difficulty involved. No doubt the German and Lockerbie cases felt the same, but Martin should have gone on moral grouds alone firstly to the victims or their representatives to air this doubt, not to the Libyians in my opinion.

  • Busty Brenda

    ‘Libya will fight the accusation it is responsible for terrorist murders by saying British agents were involved.’ The article by fitzmaurice where Martin Ingram is interviewed.

    http://www.mirrorjobsni.com/news/viewdetails.asp?newsID=55

  • ingram

    Hi,

    Just a few points to place into context.

    1. It was actually FAIR( Willie Frazer)who found the American victims of the Libyan/ Irish connection. The NI victims are indeed riding piggy back back on this action using the 1991 torture act as case law.

    2. The British courts would not entertain this action on a No win No fee basis given the complexity of the case and the chances of victory.Do you not think they would have taken the ” Normal” course of action if they had the opportunity.

    3. I did not contact the Lybians to offer any help but to get their side of the story.

    4. The victims need to be informed of the truth. To give one example. The murder of RUC Con McMurray involved the use of Libyian semtex. The explosives had been under the control of the British Army for a number of years and the bomb was designed and constructed by an Agent. The bomb killed RUC Con McMurray. Now try arguing to a court that the British do not share responsibiity for this action ALONG WITH THE LIBYIANS.

    5. Semtex was made exclusevly by the Check govt and sold to the Libyians,do we also cite the Check Govt for making this deadly compound? or Mr Timex for producing the clocks used in some of these bombs.

    6. The victims need to be told the truth about this case and not treated like Mushrooms( Kept in the dark and fed on shit) LIKE THE OMAGH VICTIMS HAVE BY h2O & the security services.

    7. H2o will fight to keep the British security services out of this court action, WHY? well let us be kind when we say they have a common Interest.

    Night Night.

    Martin

  • Busty Brenda

    3. I did not contact the Libyians to offer help but to get their side of the story.’

    martin ingram, I have corresponded with you on this and was sure of my facts before I posted, and you clearly admitted to me in an e mail that you contacted the Libyians in order to help with their case. If necessary I will post the e mail.

  • missfitz

    Brenda
    Thanks for the further information, I appreciate it.

    I am jsut wondering though, are you placing too much credence in ‘martin ingram’. In all the time I have been posting on slugger, he has always struck me as being a wind up, and not the real thing?

    I guess you know best, but I would be careful about taking him too serious without knowing his bona fides

  • Busty Brenda

    I don’t even need to publish the e mail, your actions speak for themselves in this.

    ‘I did not contact the Libyians to offer help but to get their side of the story’

    Then why go to Maurice Fitzmaurice with the story why not write it yourself?

    I know you penned a piece not yet published,and in this piece you quote sources from deep within the Libyian government, so why didn’t you tell that to Fitzmaurice on april 26th when he wrote his piece in the mirror. didn’t you know it then?
    But surely as a journalist you would want this scoop yourself, so why give it to someone else?

    In the piece you wrote,which is not yet published you wrote,’It is a perfect opportunity for the Libyians to point out implicitly the duplicity of the Western world’.
    That sounds awfully pro-Libyian to me.

    What is your motive in this case Martin? What ever it is it is not to help the victims.

  • Busty Brenda

    On Sunday March 19 Henry McDonald wrote in the Guardian that Gadaffi is to be sued by victims of the IRA in a suit to be launched next month (April)

    The suit is launched on Friday 21 April.

    On Saturday 22 April it is reported by BBC NI.

    On Sunday 23 April Henry McDonald again writes in the Guardian, that the case is now launched.

    On Wed 26th April Maurice Fitzmaurice gets an exclusive from Martin Ingram that the Libyians intend to fight tooth and nail due to the use of agent provacateurs.

    What happened between Sunday 23 April and Wednesday 26th April?

    Martin Ingram contacted the LIbyians, most likely on Monday 24th April, and then gives his exclusive to Maurice Fitzmaurice on either the monday or the tuesday for it to be printed on Wed. So a free lance journalist (Martin Ingram) after contacting the Libyians to find out their side of the story then gives away his own exclusive to another journalist.

    The Libyians who have remained very tight lipped since McDonald reported on March 19 suddenly tell that they are going to fight the case and on what grounds they are going to fight it, and we are told this by their spokesperson Martin Ingram. And lo and behold the Libyians will fight this case on Martin Ingrams area of expertise-AGENTS.

    What will happen on the day the Libyians call their wittness to prove the British used agents?

    Will Martin Ingram take the stand? It can’t be hidden for ever, because the Americans have a cute little custom called ‘disclosure’. They also have a habit of not giving evidence from behind a screen.

    So eventually the truth will out.

    It will be interesting to see who takes the stand.

  • ingram

    Busty,

    Quote”Then why go to Maurice Fitzmaurice with the story why not write it yourself?

    That is exactly what I did , I submitted the piece to Maurice as I copied to you. He chose to re write because it was the morning of the John Prescott breaking story.

    I have told you previously that I did make contact but only in the interests of the truth being exposed. Both sides have been advised. Willie Frazer will confirm as I have told you that both myself and Fulton will give evidence BUT that evidence will be truthful and not one sided.

    The Libyians deserve to know the truth just like any other party nothing more nothing less, surely you do not have a problem with the truth?.

    Quote”Martin Ingram contacted the LIbyians, most likely on Monday 24th April, and then gives his exclusive to Maurice Fitzmaurice on either the monday or the tuesday for it to be printed on Wed. So a free lance journalist (Martin Ingram) after contacting the Libyians to find out their side of the story then gives away his own exclusive to another journalist

    Not true submitted NO exclusive story to anybody. The piece was submitted to the Guardian, the Belfast Telegraph and the Blanket.

    Quote”In the piece you wrote,which is not yet published you wrote,’It is a perfect opportunity for the Libyians to point out implicitly the duplicity of the Western world’.
    That sounds awfully pro-Libyian to me

    As you know and have been told by me have you not? that it is to highlight the plight of all victims of any State,especially the British state who killed it`s own . You know that my interest is in the plight of Freddies victims , South African arms victims, collusion victims etc. As you know I am currently engaged in legal proceedings against Freddy so that HIS VICTIMS make seek compensation from both him and the state.

    Quote”What will happen on the day the Libyians call their wittness to prove the British used agents?

    If called I will give an honest and truthful account. I will not be alone neither. Do not be afraid of the truth .

    Quote”What is your motive in this case Martin? What ever it is it is not to help the victims.

    That is very clear.

    1. Not to mislead the victims of this action with the typical H2o misinformation. This will be very difficult to prosecute.

    2. The Truth. Not a version of it.

    Martin

  • Busty Brenda

    ‘The Libyians deserve to know the truth just like any other party’

    They knew the truth. And after knowing the truth admitted they sold the goods to the IRA. They had admitted this, and this case was submitted most likely because of that. You waited until the actual case was launched, before going to the Libyians to ‘get their side of the story’, and to inform the public that the counsel in this case is giving its clients misleading information. H20 in your opinion is protecting the interests of the British because they are only suing the Libyians. The Libyians had already admitted they were culpable, as far back as March 19, everybody knew that. Why did you not say so then BEFORE the case was launched?

    Now the case is launched and you contact the belfast telegraph, the blanket and the guardian and maurice fitzmaurice of the mirror who wrote an exclusive, with the Libyians point of view? You couldn’t have done that between March 19 and April 23?

    ‘ Not true submitted no exclusive story to anybody.’
    Well I put the link up, Maurice is quoting direct from you.

    ‘If I am called I will give an honest and truthful account.’

    Of course you’ll be called, by your own admission you contacted them and offered your services.

    ‘This will be very difficult to prosecute’.

    Yes it will, especially now, after you contacting them. How many cases is it at the current time that you are giving evidence in? Two?

    Yes I agree, you have highlighted the plight of victims, but what you are doing here is not highlighting the plight of victims, you are actively seeking to help those who sold arms to the IRA, 4 boat loads of it.

    These victims deserve their compensation.

  • ingram

    Busty,

    Quote”Why did you not say so then BEFORE the case was launched?

    I spoke to the victims reps over two months ago well before they initiated the legal action and BEFORE willie went to the states, that meeting took place in Belfast. That conversation along with Fultons remained confidential until the court case is initiated. I do want the victims to be misled.H2o are playing a game here, just like they did with Omagh.

    The Libyians have indeed accepted responsibility for their actions BUT others should do so also.

    As you can see I spoke to the victims reps well before this court case so a simple appology will suffice LOL.My only interest here is the truth and compensation from the responsible PARTIES (plural)for the victims ( ALL) and if this case can open the door to other victims then yes I am GUILTY of looking at the wider picture rather than the narrow one.

    Martin

  • Busty Brenda

    Does all the 40 bombings that this case covers involve the use of agents?

    http://www.fermanaghherald.com/news3.htm

    As the week end was the last date that the case could be submitted, before the limitations ran out,you left it awfully late to offer your services to the Libyians. And you did contact them and you did offer. If they didn’t take your advice, you should have left it alone not gone to the Libyians.

    Yes the Omagh fund is done, but this is not just the omagh victims, there is over 40 bombings covered by this case with different class actions and different languages. I feel what you have done by going to the Libyians at this late stage, you have tried to force the issue. So they didn’t take your advice now they have no option.

    I’m sorry Martin, perhaps we can agree to differ.

  • ingram

    Busty,

    Quote”As the week end was the last date that the case could be submitted, before the limitations ran out,

    Once more I need to correct you. Once submitted they have 120 days to submit the outline of their case.

    The Lawyers are taking a class action. They have yet to chose which case they want to use, it will be a small number.I doubt whether it will be any connected to Omagh due to the Omagh bomb being a HMD.

    It is expected by the Lawyers to exceed SIX THOUSAND claims in the civil action. At the moment it is approximately a few Hundred. Please remember this is a CLASS ACTION.

    I remain utterly committed to the victims, the only way for this action to proceed and stand a chance of succeeding in my opinion is to bring all those responsible to court and account for their actions/decisions.

    We can of course agree to disagree.

    Martin.

  • Busty Brenda

    agreed.

  • ingram

    Miss Fitz,

    Quote”I am jsut wondering though, are you placing too much credence in ‘martin ingram’. In all the time I have been posting on slugger, he has always struck me as being a wind up, and not the real thing?

    LOL.

    Ingram.

    PS. Ask Freddy Scappaticci or the Notorantonios or Sir John Stevens or the FRU if I was not the ” Real thing” lol.