A local victims campaigner has expressed his concerns at the latest Legacy plans revealed in The Queen’s Speech on Tuesday.
Kenny Donaldson, South East Fermanagh Foundation’s (SEFF) Director of Services and Spokesman for Innocent Victims United, said: “We acknowledge that the details advised in Tuesday’s Queen’s speech on Legacy are somewhat different to that which was within the original Command paper brought out by the Government, and which was met with vociferous opposition.”
Expressing his concern, Mr. Donaldson said: “However, we remain concerned of any further move away from due process and the rule of law. 
“Well over 600 members of the Army were murdered by Irish Republican terrorists and there has been minimal justice obtained across these cases. 
“These families whose loved ones worked for the State, upholding its interests through standing against terrorism and in serving the community, have been marginalised and overlooked by the UK state in its supposed quest to offer a form of protection for a minority of soldiers who they claim are being subjected to vexatious pursuance.
“We are clear that where wrong was done, that this must be accounted for, and whether someone was wearing a uniform of the UK State or a balaclava as a terrorist – there must be a consistent approach followed. The rule of law must prevail.”
Disputing the assertion that some victims and survivors don’t want justice, Mr. Donaldson said: “Often, the argument progressed by those with vested interests is that there are victims and survivors who don’t want justice; that they want maximum truth and information. 
“We strongly dispute this assertion; we believe it is moreso accurate that many families have become conditioned to believe that a criminal justice outcome is no longer possible, and that they should therefore fight for the crumbs of truth and information.”
Concluding, Mr. Donaldson said: “We, more than anyone else, desire peace and a society at ease with itself, but we do not subscribe to a phoney peace – we’ve had 25 years of this type of ‘peace’ solution and it is not working. 
“Front and centre of any fresh Legacy process must be an acknowledgement by all protagonists that in the context of The Troubles, there was never justification for the use of violence in the furtherance of, or defence of, a political objective.
“Peace is not achieved throughout the absence of terrorism, but through the presence of justice.”