Still waiting after all these years


It’s almost 10 years since the Manchester bombings, and it seems quite extraordinary that some of the 200 victims are still waiting for any kind of financial compensation.

It seems that all is not lost though, and the Northern Ireland Memorial Fund will be stepping into the breach, to help the Manchester victims. I was a little surprised by the statement from NIMF “We may not be around forever so it could be a question of use us or lose us.”

I have no doubt that some of the local victims who may have had a little difficulty accessing the Fund in the past will be interested in this development. Certainly, I hadn’t heard about it until researching this piece, and find it to be quite interesting in the context of the remit of the Memorial Fund. Roisin Coleman of the fund said: “It is true that most of the people we help are living in Northern Ireland where a lot are referred to us by victim support groups, but people affected on the mainland are just as entitled to help.

For those unfamiliar, the fund was set up in 1999 after a report by former Northern Ireland secretary Mo Mowlam, who died last year, who argued that, after peace, a living fund would be more use than building a memorial. My own personal preference would be for a permanent physical memorial, but that’s a topic for another thread!

While some trauma experts will look at an expectation of compensation as something that often stands in the way of full recovery, this is a different matter entirely. Swift and adequate compensation can assist enormously in helping victims make a recovery from at least the physical effects of a terrorist act such as this. Experts such as Judith Herman sometimes talk about an unrealistic search for compensation: In many cases what is being sought is a turning back of the clock to the point where there was no involvement in the incident hence the “fantasy of compensation”.