Ann Travers: “a peace and reconciliation centre where they expect victims of crime to go to in a prison”

Ann Travers was interviewed today by David McCann and Kerri Dunn, presenters of the weekly On the Record politics show that is broadcast on Lisburns 98FM community radio station. You can listen to her interview in two parts.

Ann has been at the middle of the process around the SPAD Bill, working with both Jim Allister and the SDLP.

I’m up in Derry at the EBN Congress – strapline: digital, cultural & social innovation – so haven’t transcribed long sections of the interview. But the following quotes should give you a taste of what she said.

On her sisters death:

We were torn apart, completely torn apart. The only people who would really speak about Mary was Mum and Dad…we were so overcome with grief

On victims speaking out:

There is this fear that whenever you speak out, that you are going to leave yourself open to abuse.

On hearing Mary McArdle’s appointment:

I felt physically sick, I felt like someone had come and ripped my stomach out. My initial reaction was sheer panic…Here was a woman…who had done so much to damage our life…for a few minutes all I could think of was that my mother was going to be contributing in some way through her taxes to her daughters murderer.

On SPAD Bill:

…in this appeals process they have to show contrition and remorse and….to help the police with the investigation in any way.

On her alliance with Jim Allister:

I don’t agree with all of Jim’s politics. In his heart he is doing this, I believe, with the very best of intentions….I don’t feel used at all.

On what could be done for victims:

…they need to look really carefully at their language…they need to be sensitive towards victims…they need to show consideration and respect towards them…encourage them and allow them, if that’s what they want to do, to tell their stories.

On the Maze development:

I can’t understand why any normal human being, thinking in their right mind, would want to have a peace and reconciliation centre where they expect victims of crime to go to in a prison.

On victims speaking out:

people have said…and rightly so that my story and my voice has been heard a lot over the last twenty four months….but for 27 years I didn’t say a word.

Alan Meban. Normally to be found blogging over at Alan in Belfast where you’ll find an irregular set of postings, weaving an intricate pattern around a diverse set of subjects. Comment on cinema, books, technology and the occasional rant about life. On Slugger, the posts will mainly be about political events and processes. Tweets as @alaninbelfast.