Cohannon Inn, Dungannon was the venue for an important seminar last Monday night.
Well over 100 victims/survivors were in attendance at the South East Fermanagh Foundation organised event designed to examine the content of Legacy proposals contained within a Northern Ireland Office-led Consultation document.
Contributors to the event included Dr Cilian McGrattan (Ulster University) John McAtamney (Solicitor) and many others.
Speaking in the aftermath of the Dungannon meeting Kenny Donaldson, Director of Services for Lisnaskea-based South East Fermanagh Foundation and Spokesman for Innocent Victims United stated: “We were delighted with attendance levels, innocent victims/survivors of terrorism across Mid-Ulster turned up in numbers to engage with this Consultation process and to make clear their perspective and the needs and legitimate rights which they submit have yet to be answered by Government and the Criminal Justice System. There were very many articulate and highly passionate contributions made by those in attendance.
“SEFF and The wider Innocent Victims United organisation has campaigned for effective legacy structures to be implemented for many years which would respond to the needs of innocent victims/survivors of terrorism and other ‘Troubles related criminal violence.’
“SEFF and more broadly IVU are determined that the constituency of victims/survivors whom we serve will be represented over this Consultation period and beyond and this includes victims/survivors based throughout Great Britain who have often been overlooked by policy initiatives concerning victims/survivors impacted by The Northern Ireland Troubles.
“Victims and survivors should not be discriminated on the basis of where they happen to live, they should have equality of access to support services and other interventions, including reparation packages. It is essential that whatever flows post the Consultation is available to victims/survivors irrespective of their postcode.
“The Northern Ireland Office proposals contain structures which Government claims will advance the justice, truth and accountability needs of individual victims and survivors. At early dissection there we have uncovered a number of fundamental flaws which must be redressed by Government; it is absolutely unsustainable to suggest that only those cases yet to be reviewed by the HET will have access to an HIU Investigation, this flies in this face of all Equality measures and must be rectified. The lack of focus upon the seriously injured is also a glaring omission and we will be putting forward our proposals over the Consultation period in adequately addressing this area of need.
“We are also clear that any suite of institutions legislated for must be fair and balanced and guarantee innocent victims/survivors of terrorism equitable opportunity to have advancements made in their case; whether through pursuance of justice or truth.”
SEFF along with the IVU network are arranging a Consultation roadshow package which will seek to engage with victims/survivors across Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and Great Britain.
The closing date for the Consultation is September 10 2018.