Brown u-turn on Libyan compensation for victims of PIRA atrocities

On Saturday night Brian noted the Sunday Times story about Gordon Brown’s apparent lack of enthusiasm for pursuing the Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi for compensation for the victims of Provisional IRA terrorism. Today the BBC reports that the Prime Minister has announced that there will be appointed “dedicated officers in the Foreign Office and our Embassy in Tripoli who will accompany the campaign group to meetings with the Libyan government to negotiate compensation, the first of which will be in the next few weeks.” From the BBC report

Mr Brown said he thought the IRA victims themselves, not the government, stood the best chance of persuading Libya to compensate them. He said: “I desperately care about the impact of all IRA atrocities on the victims, their families and communities. “The Libyans have refused to accept a treaty or normal intergovernmental agreement on this issue. “As a result, our judgement has been that the course more likely to bring results is to support the families and their lawyers in their legal representations to the Libyan authorities.”

Adds Gerry’s been on the phone, again – “I spoke to Downing Street and to Shaun Woodward this morning on this issue.” [I’m sure he did – Ed] And BBC report – “Libya’s 30-year link to the IRA”. Although from the dates given it’s closer to 40 years.

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  • I wonder how much support the British and Irish governments would give if the victims and their families pursued those in the PIRA leadership during the 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s. Alot of these guys have amassed some valuable assests and Im sure that Sinn Fein has a few quid knocking around.

    Its so ridiculous that the Libyans as suppliers of the arms will be pursued and not those who actually carried out the atrocities.

  • LURIG

    The hypocrisy from the British government and media is quite breathtaking. Most people have no problem with IRA victims and their families looking for compensation from Libya but this surely opens a Pandora’s Box. Britain set up, armed, financed and directed Unionist death squads from the late 60’s/ early 70’s which murdered over 1000 people both Catholic and Protestant. ‘Collusion’ is a misnomer as it is a handy cop out, the ‘few bad egg’s’ syndrome when in effect successive British governments operated this killing by proxy policy for decades. There can be NO equivocation on this issue because if British state run murder is ignored it will further reinforce the view that there is indeed a hierarchy of victims. If Libya pays out the relatives and victims of British/Unionist terrorism MUST form a pressure group and do likewise. Surely anyone interested in justice will have NO arguements but I suspect that the usual two faced hypocrites will have their say. I notice that Sinn Fein has been very quiet on the issue. I would also add that there are also those who were killed by Republican agents controlled by the British State; these people were allowed to be murdered to protect informers. Their relatives too would have as much right to demand compensation form Britain. There can be NO double standards on this as it could further erode and damage confidence in the Assembly.

  • Coll Ciotach

    The quids pro quo for Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi

  • DC

    Nice to see someone’s handed back Brown’s moral compass.

    So Stiofain, will there be any vicarious liability attributed to those that deployed the stuff here locally and pulled the pins if Gadaffi is succesfully challenged?

    Dunno. But I saw McGuinness holding a gun in a pic in the news the other day, I wonder who he was pointing it at?

    Funny how McGuinness is such a devout Catholic and worries over teenage drinking yet was part of a ropey movement that blew up a teenage girl and her uncle mistakenly as they triggered a roadside bomb when coming back from bingo. And funny how he frets over children and the 11plus too.

    It really is a funny old world.

  • barnshee

    The republic of Ireland set up, armed, financed and directed catholic death squads from the late 60’s/ early 70’s which murdered over 1000 people both Catholic and Protestant.

    An action against the ROI is long overdue

    –there is indeed a hierarchy of victims

  • Wilde Rover

    Barnshee,

    “The republic of Ireland set up, armed, financed and directed catholic death squads from the late 60’s/ early 70’s which murdered over 1000 people both Catholic and Protestant.

    An action against the ROI is long overdue
    —there is indeed a hierarchy of victims”

    Careful what you wish for Barnshee.

    Are you prepared to compensate the families of the victims of the British death squads that carried out false flag attacks that lead to the death of over one million people in the most recent phase of the genocidal campaign against the people of Iraq?

    It really is sickening how some can whine and get on their high horse and yet be completely oblivious to the war crimes that they, as the electorate of a democracy, are directly responsible for.

    Or are the people of Iraq so low down on your “hierarchy of victims” that they do not register?

  • LURIG

    WR,

    International human rights agreements and so called UN standards DON’T apply to Britain, the US, Israel etc did you not know? The stench of hypocrisy is quite sickening. They castigate Libya while ignoring their own abhorrent, immoral genocidal antics. You couldn’t make it up.

  • DC

    It really is sickening how some can whine and get on their high horse and yet be completely oblivious to the war crimes that they, as the electorate of a democracy, are directly responsible for.

    It’s a funny old world.

  • Robbie McAngrybeard

    People make good points castigating the hypocrisy of the British government and the like. But does any of that excuse the atrocities of the IRA or diminish the accountability of those who carried out, directed and financed the IRA’s campaigns of slaughter?

  • LURIG

    Robbie,

    I refer you to my post 2. I stated that MOST people have NO problem with the families of IRA violence pursuing Libya for compensation. HOWEVER there can be NO ambiguity. Britain has been found guilty by it’s own senior police officers of colluding with Loyalist terrorists. Indeed the Irish government’s own investigation into the Dublin/Monaghan bombings show that the British military/Intelligence were behind this atrocity. At the very least successive British governments knew about, and turned a blind eye, to state murder. At worst these British administrations formulated this policy at cabinet level. I look forward to Britain being held responsible in the international courts but won’t hold my breath. There is growing anger in the Nationalist community at this rotten, stinking hypocrisy. Sinn Fein won’t speak up and stir the pot; they represent themselves alone and NOT the Republican/Nationalist community. Diane Dodds and Jim Allister were responsible for Sinn Fein’s European victory NOT Bairbre De Brun. The antics of the TUV/DUP ensured that. The next Council elections will show that Sinn Fein are a busted flush as much in the North as they are in the South now.

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathy Collins
    This is interesting in an article last year by Reuters….

    UK biggest in global arms trade
    Tue Jun 17, 2008 6:02pm BST Email | Print | Share| Single Page[-] Text [+]
    1 of 1Full SizeLONDON (Reuters) – Britain was the world’s biggest arms seller last year, accounting for a third of global arms exports, the government’s trade promotion organisation said on Tuesday.

    UK Trade and Investment said ar

    maybe the global community can sue the british–sounds good to me

  • Wilde Rover

    DC,

    “It’s a funny old world.”

    Considering the fact that all the long term agents of the crown in the IRA have yet to be exposed I imagine your laughter will be even more bitter in the future.

    “Nice to see someone’s handed back Brown’s moral compass.”

    Clearly not. If they had he would have found his way to the Hague by now.

    Robbie McAngrybeard,

    “People make good points castigating the hypocrisy of the British government and the like. But does any of that excuse the atrocities of the IRA or diminish the accountability of those who carried out, directed and financed the IRA’s campaigns of slaughter?”

    Not if you have a problem looking inside Pandora’s box.

  • Wilde Rover
  • Pigeon Toes

    “Mr Brown said he thought the IRA victims themselves, not the government, stood the best chance of persuading Libya to compensate them. He said: “I desperately care about the impact of all IRA atrocities on the victims, their families and communities. “The Libyans have refused to accept a treaty or normal intergovernmental agreement on this issue. “As a result, our judgement has been that the course more likely to bring results is to support the families and their lawyers in their legal representations to the Libyan authorities.”

    Eh?

  • Pigeon Toes

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6824364.ece

    “Hours after Gordon Brown announced that he was setting up a dedicated Foreign Office team to assist victims of Semtex used by the IRA and supplied by Libya, the Libyan leader’s son said the answer to any demand for compensation would be “No.”

    “Anyone can knock on our door. You go to the court. They have their lawyers. We have our lawyers,” he said.

    Asked if his answer to the compensation demand would be “no” in the first instance, he replied: “Of course.”‘

  • fin

    I’m guessing no-one here is a top legal brain, and the actual details of the case are unknown so we are merely indulging in the usual race to the bottom, a regular depressing feature on Slugger.

    To get back on topic Henry McDonald in todays Guardian lists the ‘alleged’ attacks.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/sep/06/ira-libya-timeline

    its a short but curious list, 2 out of 5 attacks concern killing 13 soldiers, the other 3 are major events, I’m guessing this list is for the British market, but on thing of note is I’ve not seen an actual list of attacks from the group campaigning for compo, is there a list, or as others have asked on here recently who gets the compo should it come through.

    Following the succesful Omagh civil case, it was mentioned that a number of similar cases from nationalist victim groups were in the offing against HM govt, has anyone heard anything else.

    Also following Danny Morrisons case its been mentioned a couple of times that there are 300 cases in the process from nationalists who were ‘stitched up’ by the RUC in the 70’s and 80’s is anyone aware of when these hit the courts.

    Back to Libya, its going to be interesting, depending on the arguements used, and the legal judgement, and the context, it could trigger a mountain of cases against goverments around the world, in this context NI could be a drop in the ocean, whole nations may well have a case against other nations and while countries may refuse to recognise the judgement and refuse payments if these cases do happen, financial cases are much more straightforward than most and a situation may arise where senior politicans from several countries may be nervous about travelling internationally for fear of arrest for non-payment.

  • Zoon

    Unfortunately we have to think sceptically about this and look to the forthcoming General Election. Brown knows that its going to be tight and as the UUP and Conservatives have made an uneasy pact he must now look to the DUP electorate for a backup plan. It also helps that the minister of the Scottish Parliament made ‘that’ decision so Brown can play He-Man.

  • Barnshee

    Wilde Rover

    Are you prepared to compensate the families of the victims of the British death squads that carried out false flag attacks that lead to the death of over one million people in the most recent phase of the genocidal campaign against the people of Iraq?

    yes

    American and British (and the rest)action in Irag is a disgrace to humanity I support any legal action that would produce justice

  • Pigeon Toes

    Fin,

    Could it open a case against the British government, for failing to prevent the said weapons ending up in IRA hands?

    Surely they were under a duty of care to prevent same?

    Or would that be the UK authorities admitting that their controls were not tight enough and therefore liable?

    Or is that another big can of worms?

  • Máirtín Ó Catháin

    Remember hearing somewhere that the Libyans also supplied the Loyalists as well as the Provos – can anyone confirm??

  • loki

    Brown is just trying to keep the DUP on side to keep digging him out of holes. 42 day detention anybody?
    It’s also utterly appalling that no-one’s going after South Africa or Israel in order to get compensation from them for victims of loyalsit terrorists.
    Has to be all or nothing to be honest. Not good enough to pretend it was only the IRA. But no surprises that Jeffrey’s only looking the unionist vote.
    Submit word- money, it always comes doen to that doesn’t it?

  • Barnshee

    I believe Libya has assets in the UK –what about action (following on from http://www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/1240908422.64 and
    http://www.wellestates.com/north_cyprus_orams.htm)
    to allow UK assets to be seized ?

    Has the ROI govt any assets in the UK any chance of action to seize them (after due process)

    This our jim allisters area of expertise –surely he will take it on free

  • Pigeon Toes

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/6148915/Saif-Gaddafi-embarrasses-Gordon-Brown-over-Libyan-IRA-compensation.html

    “Mr Brown’s changes of political position have left him in an embarrassing position with little room to manoeuvre.
    Initially, he isolated himself by angering the families of victims of the IRA, whose loved ones were killed with Semtex supplied by the African nation, by failing to personally intervene on their behalf for payouts from Col Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.”

  • Archie P

    Who provided guns to the IRA in the Mid 60s???….was there an Arms Trial in the Republic…does anyone have any info please?

  • Archie P

    Take it on the chin LURIG…..surely you don’t believe all the nonsense you have wasted your time typing….the REAL VICTIMS, the INNOCENT VICTIMS are going to ensure they get compo from the idiot in the desert, so just keep schum and try and get real.

    By the way LURIG was there an Arms Trial in the Republic….who provided weapons to the IRA..?? Yes, remember??….

  • leader of the pack

    So little things like Brian Nelson, South African arms shipment, British intelligence practically running the Mount Vernon UVF have been swept under the rug apparently.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Maybe the IRA victims will be successful. Then maybe the nationalist victims will sue the British for murders where they were involved.

    Wouldn’t it be hilarious if everyone ended up with about £12,000? Well, at least Eames and Bradley might chuckle.

  • Reader

    LURIG: Indeed the Irish government’s own investigation into the Dublin/Monaghan bombings show that the British military/Intelligence were behind this atrocity.
    The investigation showed no such thing.

  • Lizard

    I’m compiling a study of Lurid’s use of capitals. I believe it’s some kind of code. If anyone has information please contact me. It could be just like SETI.