Bomb bereaved 'won't be having tea' with Glenholmes
At the first meeting of the Victims Commission held in the Killyhevlin Hotel were (back) Commissioners Bertha McDougall and Brendan McAllister and (front) new members Violet Craig, Irene Kerrigan, Jeff Smith and Stephen Gault.
THE first public meeting of the newly formed Victims and Survivors Forum met in Enniskillen this week.
The 25-strong panel consisting of men and women who have been injured or bereaved as a result of the troubles will "give a voice to victims", according to Stephen Gault, a member of the forum.
Mr. Gault, whose father Samuel was killed in the 1987 Enniskillen Bomb, has described the two year role as "a privilege".
"Being a part of the forum is really beneficial to me because I will be able to give victims a voice. I feel they have been forgotten about and the only victims we are hearing about these days are the perpetrators," he told The Impartial Reporter.
There has been much discussion over the appointment of Eibhlin Glenholmes, once described as one of the most wanted IRA suspects in Britain, to the forum. Ms. Glenholmes who was shot by loyalist when she was 16 later joined the IRA, a fact that has angered some unionists. But Mr. Gault says she "has a right" to be on the forum.
"There are two angles to this; Ms. Glenholmes was in the IRA and was the most wanted suspect during the eighties so going by that she has no right to be on the forum. But she was shot by loyalists when she was 16 - the same age I was when I was injured in the bomb - so she is a victim".
He added: "I was totally shocked when I heard about her past, but she has no convictions. I'll talk to her, yes, but I won't be having a cup of tea with her".
This article appeared in Impartial Reporter 28 Jun 12