Victims' group to meet Taoiseach over Republic's role in Troubles
FAMILIES from the South East Fermanagh Foundation (SEFF) will seek an acknowledgement from the Irish Government over the role it played during the Troubles when they meet with Taoiseach Enda Kenny next month.
The Lisnaskea-based victims' group will join the bereaved families of the Kingsmill Massacre on September 13 in Dail Eireann.
Their meeting follows previous discussions in Belfast with Mr Kenny's Senior Officials.
Although cordial, the meeting will allow the families the opportunity to give a no holds barred insight into their own personal accounts and experiences of the Troubles.
According to Director of Services at SEFF, Kenny Donaldson, they are hoping it will help to "banish a lot of the ghosts of the past".
"The families are going to continue in their fight for justice but they are also realistic in the knowledge that no one is going to be serving a long custodial sentence at this stage," he said, "They are hoping for a public acknowledgement that the Government in the Republic failed to protect life along the border in the sense that it prevented people being brought to justice and held to account.
"The border in some ways was a safe haven for terrorists, where particularly along Fermanagh border, people were able to quickly come here, carry out their crimes and escape without any redress."
Mr Donaldson said the Fermanagh and Kingsmill families hope the Irish Government will acknowledge the role it played in "harbouring terrorists and being less than cooperative regarding extradition issues".
"If you look at the criminal justice clearance rates along the Fermanagh border, South Armagh and over towards West Tyrone, it is no small coincidence that these areas which are geographically close to the South," he said.
Around 15 to 20 representatives from Fermanagh families will travel down to Dublin on September 13.
It is expected that the meeting with Mr Kenny will last between an hour and an hour-and-a-half.
"This will be a fairly significant discussion," said Mr Donaldson, "We are hoping we can come home with something for the families in Fermanagh."
This article appeared in Impartial Reporter 30 Aug 12