Victims have been promised many things ever since the GFA, but…

Just came across this this evening towards the end of the week. It’s from Newsline, on Tuesday, I think… It’s only short, but just about here Alasdair McDonnell says something well worth noting at least…

Victims have been for fifteen years promised truth, promised solutions, promised reconciliation, promised hope and are not getting closure.

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  • cynic2

    Great.

    So what has he done about it?

    And what has he done about outreach to Protestant victims? Surely he couldnt be stuck in that sectarian swamp afraid to speak out for the Prods because the Shinners (of some in hos own party with an eye to his position) would use it politically against him

  • FuturePhysicist

    Alasdair has served Protestant and Catholic victim alike in his medical and his political surgery. It’s bizarre this needs to be considered an outreach thing at all.

  • “Alasdair McDonnell says something well worth noting at least…

    Victims have been for fifteen years promised truth, promised solutions, promised reconciliation, promised hope and are not getting closure.”

    It’s not so long ago that an SDLP councillor in Dungannon was endorsing a SF motion in favour of Gerry McGeough in the presence of McGeough’s victim, fellow councillor Sammy Brush. Did this represent poor judgement on the part of the SDLP or fear by the councillor that he might be subjected to the same sort of attacks that Brush continues to endure? Newton Emerson was very robust in his condemnation of the SDLP but did he stop to think about the context?

    McGuinness and SF hypocrisy has received very little attention. Ann Travers first spoke out in reaction to McGuinness’ condemnation of the murder of Constable Ronan Kerr. In her own words:

    “Mr McGuinness was quoted as saying that Ms Travers’ death was regrettable but understandable because her father was a member of the British judiciary.” .. “I am delighted that Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness have condemned this young man’s murder. But they have never once said sorry for my sister’s murder… in fact, Martin McGuinness condoned it because her father was a member of the British judiciary.”

    From the same link an unnamed SF spokesman said:

    “Our sympathies are obviously with families like the Travers. We do not intend to say or do anything which would cause further hurt to them“.

    A few weeks later Mary McArdle was appointed to the position of Special Adviser and AFAIK not a word was said to Ann to prepare her for yet another shock to her emotional system.

    The SF spokesman went on to say:

    “There is no justification for armed actions in Ireland. The IRA removed itself from the stage in 2005. These small unrepresentative gangs are not the IRA.

    Is there no limit to McGuinness and SF hypocrisy? A small drop of humanity prior to the McArdle appointment and the Spad Bill might not have seen the light of day.

  • FuturePhysicist

    “Sinn Féin believes that as a society seeks to leave conflict behind, and to move forward there is a requirement that all of us address the tragic human consequences of the past.”

    “In order to deal with our past, do justice to the memory and victims and give closure to families of victims and survivors, we need to put in place a mechanism to facilitate that.”

    “How do we deal with our past will also help to shape our future. We must also learn from our past – the civil war in 1922-23 left a bitterness and hurt which was allowed to fester for generations, and shaped the very nature of politics in this state – civil war politics – no truth recovery process.”

    “A truth recovery process would have helped to heal the pain of that particular period.”

    “But truth recovery cannot and will not be dealt with through a British Unionist prism or, for that matter, through an Irish Republican prism.”

    The words of Martin Ferris Sinn Féin TD, what we’ve failed to see from this party is its attempts to move on victims without the Irish Republican Prisim.

  • Kevsterino

    The victims issue, like a lot of other things, appears to be stuck on equality but not in the same sense as other things.

    I don’t believe unionists will ever accept that an IRA volunteer’s death is as lamentable as the death of an RUC man or a British soldier. Republicans vice versa.

    What is somewhat surprising is they can’t treat the families of those who lost members in an equitable fashion. To me, that is where authentic empathy could take hold. But the pain apparently makes that impossible.

  • There is no such thing as closure, the pain of loss goes on forever; it’s just that some are better at coping than others. Survivors need the truth and support.

  • Kevsterino

    Mister Joe, when you say ‘Survivors need truth and support’ I’m curious as to what you mean. Truth is easy enough to understand, although I think the benefit of truth would go beyond survivors. But, granted, survivors need to be told the truth.

    Support is where my mind isn’t quite understanding what can be done. How can Northern Irish government or society support survivors? Can it support all the survivors? Or just some survivors and leave others to fend for themselves?

  • Kev,

    I meant that individuals, friends and families, need to understand and help the survivors to cope in any way they can. Certainly not self serving politicians.

  • Tupper

    “Mr McGuinness was quoted as saying that Ms Travers’ death was regrettable but understandable because her father was a member of the British judiciary.”

    What does that mean exactly?

    Is he saying that it’s OK to kill family members of people who would be defined as being ‘legitimate targets’ by the people doing the shooting?

    If that’s so then does MM think that the death of Pat Finucane was also understandable because he had brothers who were members of the PIRA?

    Anyway – back to the Travers murder. PIRA apologists have in the past said that the death of Mary Travers was due to a botched attack on her father. The reasoning being that they didn’t mean to shoot her. But has MM let the cat out of the bag? Is he confirming that it was understandable for the PIRA to shoot Mary Travers given that she was a family member of a British judge? In other words, the PIRA deliberately shot her as a further way to punish her father.

    I’ve always understood that the circumstances indicate just that – that Mary Travers was deliberately shot by the PIRA gunman involved. She wasn’t hit by a stray bullet that missed her father, she wasn’t shot while resisting the PIRA gunmen, she didn’t put herself in the way to try to save her father and took a bullet that was aimed at him. The fact is that a PIRA gunman deliberately aimed a gun specifically at her and shot her.