Ignore the issue of victims, and it will fester…

Nick Garbutt is doing some good work bringing much needed perspective to the vicitims issue… After yesterday’s column in the News Letter, he points out what ought to be the bleedin obvious, ie that in terms of any natural justice, the guy who blows himself up (of which there were many in the early days of the Troubles) is not the same as the person or persons they kill…

 …it is not the same for people who just found themselves randomly caught up in events, remember the taxi drivers, called out to the “wrong estate”, people shot in their own homes because of their “religion”, those in the wrong bar and the wrong time. And the countless others who misfortune have been blighted by what happened.

And remember too, the conflict was largely confined to very specific areas, some rural, most urban, it had, and still does have a disproportionate impact on those places, and to the significant swathes of the professional classes who were not really impacted, were disengaged from politics, didn’t want to know and today would rather pretend it all didn’t happen,  I can only display to you a weary and heartfelt contempt.

Ignore this issue and it will fester. Continue to build conditions where political leaders lie about their past and we will get nowhere. A peace process is just that, a process, and unless it continues it will fail. Rowan may not quite have the answers, but unless this debate is settled, and settled soon we may yet be de-railed by the past.

 

  • tyrone_taggart

    “much needed perspective to the vicitims issue”

    It was pointed out to me once in Estonia that in nether Spain or Italy the “vicitims” issue was never addressed properly and when it was it was a very long time after the events.

    The consensus view on the matter was basically let half sleeping dogs lie.

  • Mister_Joe

    “Justice delayed is justice denied”

  • tyrone_taggart

    Mister_Joe

    “Justice delayed is justice denied”

    I could not agree more.

    Francisco Franco died in his own bed of old age. Spain is only starting to deal with his legacy now. Most people die without ever getting any sort of justice.

    The question is how do you get to the “justice” part?

  • williewombat

    We as a society need to treat all those who committed crimes from whereever they came from as criminals pursue them as such and deal with them through the courts without this action justice will not be either done or seen to be done and the wound will fester for generations. difficult to do in practice agreeing this course by all sides would be a good start. If there is a necessity to consider recognition of our changed circumstances in terms of pardons and dispensations lets reach definitive agreement on that as well, otherwise the feeling that some are more subject to justice than others will prevail. Tough to deliver but hard work was never easy.

  • tyrone_taggart

    “some are more subject to justice than others”

    I think the British Army got away with virtually everything they did.

    “coming to the conclusion that the minimum force necessary to achieve a restoration of law and order is to shoot selected ringleaders amongst the DYH (Derry Young Hooligans), after clear warnings have been issued”.
    Robert Ford British Army.

  • williewombat

    TT

    I didn`t exclude anyone from the need to come before the law many have got away with a lot of what they did its up to the courts to decide when evidence can be brought before it, no one else including public opinion. Nothing else works and your selective response shows just how difficult a job it would be to deal with justice without fear or favour.

  • tyrone_taggart

    williewombat

    “I didn`t exclude anyone from the need to come before the law”

    Which law? It would have to at least be European as I do think to many people would put faith in the British legal system.

  • williewombat

    T-T

    Heres the way it works in the UK laws are made and are updated by parlament with elected representatives the courts operate those laws and indeed now UK law also has some accountability to European law. There is no other law I know it doesn`t always suit the Big Bad Brits theory but thats the way it is until some other way is found and agreed thats the way the law in The UK works. Certainly not perfect but a lot better than kangaroo courts, punishment beatings, disappeared, proxy bombs, masked men behind hedges, exclusion orders with no appeals If your speaking for the majority of UK citizens and your correct shouldn`t belong until the revolution begins.

  • tyrone_taggart

    “Bad Brits theory ”

    Lord Widgery’

  • Mick Fealty

    I think TT’s initial response is fine… Very much in tune with an unusually thoughtful piece a few years ago in the FT:

    http://sluggerotoole.com/2007/11/14/on-commodifcation-of-remembrance/

    I’m sympathetic up to the point these things can actually be managed in the way people imagine it can… Why should the Finucane family back off after giving a large chunk of their lives to finding out the truth about their father’s/husband’s death?

    But then why should the family of an off duty cop, or some one eviscerated in an IRA/UDA bomb, or abducted, tortued and dumped by the roadside, keep quiet about their loved ones if someone else is playing politics with the past?

    Scrap that, why should any of them forget?

  • tyrone_taggart

    “Why should the Finucane family back off after giving a large chunk of their lives to finding out the truth about their father’s/husband’s death?”

    Of course the family is right to fight for the truth.

    What is most telling is how little support they are getting from the British legal system of which he was a member.

    How many people don’t think the British government was involved 1. The British Government will never let the full facts come out 2.

    If the UK government “political leaders lie about their past” what can anyone do about it?

    1:Wikileaks/wikipedia/Belfast telegraph
    Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern told a US Special Envoy to Northern Ireland that “everyone knows” the UK government was involved in the murder of Pat Finucane.

    2:Jane Winter, who took part in the Downing Street meeting, said she was convinced that there are some individuals in the highest echleons of the British establishment who do not want their role in the events surrounding Pat Finucane’s murder to become public.

    “I have come to the conclusion that there is something about Patrick Finucane’s death that successive governments have tried to hide and still want to hide,” she said.

    “There’s something so utterly damning that they don’t want the public to know.”

    http://www.thedetail.tv/issues/30/finucanes-meet-cameron/why-did-cameron-renege-on-pat-finucane-deal

  • Mister_Joe

    In the case of Spain, they issue wasn’t dealt with because the man who started it became dictator and forbade it. I don’t know about Italy but perhaps their continuing instability had something to do with it.
    In the case of N.I., has silence been bought since none of the 3 principal participants want their dirty deeds exposed? If so, the truth may come out eventually when the main guilty ones have died or, in the case of HMG, the archives are eventually opened. 100 year rule?

  • Barnshee

    “coming to the conclusion that the minimum force necessary to achieve a restoration of law and order is to shoot selected ringleaders amongst the DYH (Derry Young Hooligans), after clear warnings have been issued”
    Robert Ford British Army.”

    well clear warnings were issued (on more than one occasion )and the nasty Brits er did what they said they would do. Hey man how dare they

  • Barnshee

    Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern told a US Special Envoy to Northern Ireland that “everyone knows” the UK government was involved in the murder of Pat Finucane.

    “Everyone knows” the Garda were in collusion with the IRA “Everyone knows” the the government and people of the republic supported and armed the IRA
    “Everybody knows “the Roman catholic community in N Ireland supported the IRA
    “Everybody knows” uncle Gerry was not in the IRA

    This guy “Everbody” sure knows a lot

  • tyrone_taggart

    Barnshee

    “well clear warnings were issued (on more than one occasion )and the nasty Brits er did what they said they would do. Hey man how dare they”

    True

  • Barnshee

    TT

    I see you don`t do irony

  • tyrone_taggart

    Barnshee

    I see you don`t do irony 🙂

  • Toastedpuffin

    TT:

    “Of course the family is right to fight for the truth. ”

    But I thought the consensus view on the matter was basically let half sleeping dogs lie. Make yer mind up!

  • tyrone_taggart

    Toastedpuffin

    “was basically let half sleeping dogs lie”

    ie those who was not explicitly looking for answers/justice now leave alone.

  • wild turkey

    over the years, whenever the topic of victims has arisen on slugger, i have sometimes shot from the hip… and misfired and then prayed.

    evening vespers commences soon. i shall go. and leave this thought for readers. readers be they victims, those who grieve for victims or mere voyeurs. from Phillippians

    “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

    in this most christain of countries, surely some people do pray. and find some solace and need neither politicians or commissions or tribunals or comments on blogs

    Lord Jesus Christ Son of God, have mercy on me. a sinner

  • Toastedpuffin

    “ie those who was not explicitly looking for answers/justice now leave alone.”

    Just about nobody then. That’s not much use.

  • tyrone_taggart

    “Just about nobody then. That’s not much use.”

    I do not disagree. The problem is even RUC families have trouble getting to the truth form their own security services1.

    For some people:
    ‘It’s not the despair: I can cope with the despair. It’s the HOPE – that’s what’s killing me.’
    Clockwise

    1
    “The Smithwick Inquiry was presented with the new evidence by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) on Wednesday as the probe into the IRA killing of Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan in 1989 draws to a close.
    The police were heavily criticised for withholding the information which blamed an unnamed retired Garda officer for passing information to the killers, and not the three Garda officers who have been under scrutiny by the inquiry.
    The Buchanan family said they found the withholding of the information deeply hurtful, but they asked if the delay was the fault of the Security Services in London and not the PSNI, and they said sufficient new information had come to light to warrant further criminal investigation.”
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5gQZ_edO24FaLOh463Xls29cjMIQg?docId=N0060421343392295043A