Victims and the redress of historic grievance: shall we forbid them, or not?

A sharp observation from Malachi O’Doherty in yesterday’s Belfast Telegraph that the past is becoming more not less livid, put me in mind of a line from the King James Bible (Luke 18:16), “suffer little children to come unto me” followed by the less familiar and forbid them not”.  With new campaigns springing up it seems that the demand for redress for past injustices is transferring through the generations:

The eloquence and passion of the grandchildren of the McGurk family, the children of Pat Finucane, of Ann Travers, the sister of Mary Travers, murdered by a woman who is now a government advisor, all these suggest that the case being made for justice and a consideration of victims is coming now from a professional class of people can not be refused.

Through such people the case for the victims is not waning but getting stronger.

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  • Yes, though interesting in Henry McDonald’s piece in the Guardian around the Boston College case, where Ed Moloney says that without the anonymous nature of the interviews people would not come forward with the truth. In which case would they seriously do so this side of death in any circumstance? So for all the noise, it would not appear the truth will out anytime soon.

  • aquifer

    In a campaign of terrorism selective and sectarian murder and economic sabotage victimhood was spread about very casually and widely by people who will insist on remaining anonymous and who cannot ever restore or pay for the damage.

    There are multiple layers and instances of injustice and I have more to do than go digging to gather lumps up. My direct experience of gunmen is of social inadequates, I don’t need a restorative meeting, I want to forget the scrapheap that is our history and continue to do useful stuff with people who matter.

    The state is an easier target, because it can press taxes from working people to pay for lawyers to articulate a grievance and even pay compensation. Reminders of our sad pass is also a tax on life.

    We agreed to forgive so that we can forget. Leave it.

  • Alias

    “In which case would they seriously do so this side of death in any circumstance?”

    Sociopaths are not renowned for their eagerness to tell the truth. To rely on the confessions of a criminal class as a means of delivering truth to society is to trade justice for a pack of self-serving lies.

    All the state has to do is open its files to an impartial investigative committee, and it’ll all come out…