Photo above – Kenny Donaldson is spokesman for Innocent Victims United, an umbrella group that represents victims of terrorism. He is pictured above in front of a quilt made by family members from Fermanagh who had loved ones murdered in the Troubles.
Innocent victims and survivors of Provisional IRA terrorism, and others impacted by terrorism whether here or across the world are dismayed by the judgement handed down by the UK’s Supreme Court concerning the quashing of Gerry Adams’ convictions, Kenny Donaldson writes in the News Letter.
The Provisional IRA’s campaign of ethnic motivated terrorism was responsible for the murder of over 1,700 people — Protestant, Catholic and dissenter; men, women and children.
Too often the criminal justice system denies an outcome for innocents of crime but it seems to us to be repeatedly caught out by those able to exploit loopholes and technicalities.
There is a real need for an appraisal of our system of law.
If we continue in the manner we’re going then public confidence will further disintegrate.
Our concern now is for the real innocents in this society; the McConville family, La Mon families and all those others de-humanised and brutalised through the actions of the Provisional republican movement (which more accurately could be described as ‘the death cult’)
Also, if reports are accurate that Gerry Adams received tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money to pursue his case to the Supreme Court then this marks a watershed.
Legal aid is supposed to be means tested, so we find it hard to understand how Mr Adams met the terms of that support.
The Hyde Park families saw a UK court throw out their criminal case against John Downey on the basis of a letter presented by his lawyers, they then begged and repeatedly lodged papers to secure legal aid to take John Downey on within the civil courts.
Repeatedly these innocents were knocked back for an array of reasons but they persevered, then the same man on bail for the murder of two UDR soldiers in Co Fermanagh is then permitted to go home to Donegal by the courts of this land because his legal counsel claimed he was at risk of contracting Covid where he was staying.
Where did he go?
Back to his wife who works in the frontline within the a health service in the Republic of Ireland.
And the sick part is that the Hyde Park families are the good news story because they finally got legal aid when practically no such assistance has been awarded post 1998 for innocents seeking to take on terrorist suspects within the civil courts.
It is clear what the Provisional republican movement’s tactic now is: for decades they refused to recognise the courts, they murdered members of the judiciary.
But in the last 12-15 years they now use the legal system to fight their campaign of lawfare.
They are now using the legal system of this nation to hurt innocents of their ethnic and sectarian motivated terrorism, hoping that they will then turn against the UK state with the net gain being for republicanism.
We call today for those within government and who have powers to recalibrate our legal system to catch a grip and to do so now.
Stop doing legacy like you play the game of cricket, because you are getting mighty close to being bowled out by those who already lost — who were defeated in their campaign of terrorism.
• Kenny Donaldson is spokesman for Innocent Victims United, an umbrella group that represents victims of terrorism