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1000 British veterans of Northern Ireland face prosecution as proven IRA Killers walk free – this is a double standard, not reconciliation

Tom Winnifrith
Friday 20 July 2018

Yesterday we quite rightly celebrated the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nelson Mandela. There was a man only to wiling to accept his own failings but who brought his country together after a bitter conflict through reconciliation. Past sins, by all sides were to be forgotten. The future is what mattered. That was the clearest demonstration of the genius and the humanity of a great man like Mandela. Today is the anniversary of the Hyde  & Regents Park bombings in which eleven British ceremonial soldiers and horses were butchered and countless tourists injured by the IRA.

We know who planted those bombs, John Downey for he was eventually put on trial in 2014. But he promptly produced a 2007 letter from the Police Service of Northern Ireland saying that he had been given an amnesty and so he never faced a jury telling him that he was guilty or a terrible offence. In fact the PSNI handed out 187 such letters, in the name of peace and reconciliation. To killers on the run,. In the wake of the Good Friday Agreement. Count,less more convicted killers were freed from prison.

Although my family are originally from the Nortnernmost county of Ireland and I am a Protestant and regard the IRA and its leaders, notably the repellent Gerry Adams, as vermin, for the sake of peace I have to accept that Mandela showed a way that Ulster should follow.

Except that is not what has happened. The families of those slain in the London parks or of thousands of other murdered folk, soldiers, RUC men, civilians, missionaries and even a 5 month old baby (murdered 46 years and one day ago by an IRA bomb) will never know who pulled the trigger or detonated the explosion. Yet the British taxpayer forks out tenss of millions for an enquiry into Bloody Sunday. And now it gets worse…

The PSNI is now investigating every killing during the troubles by British Forces in Northern Ireland. Up to a thousand old men, now in their sixties and seventies face the prospect of questioning under caution.  How on earth is this anything other than a double standard?

Shamefully, the Northern Ireland Minister Karen Bradley and her wretched boss Prime Minister Theresa may have rejected calls for a time limited ban on such investigations.  Such wretched cowardice by them is yet another reason why, I cannot in all good conscience, give my  vote once again to the appalling Conservatives at the next election. We know that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was buddies with the IRA but the Tories should do better and show an even handed approach to justice in Northern Ireland to foster true reconciliation. They do not and is just as shameful as those militant nationalists who also support this double standard.

Does anyone other than pathetic Ms Bradley and the wretched Prime Minister, truly think that putting an old man who may by then be eighty on trial for an event that happened in 1972 while known butchers from the IRA walk free. and in some case stand for election for Sinn Fein, will achieve anything at all?

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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