Troubles amnesty plan for legacy killings rejected in Belfast and Dublin

Julie Hambleton (centre right) speaking outside Belfast City Hall after a meeting of victims of The Troubles
Julie Hambleton (centre right) speaking outside Belfast City Hall after a meeting of victims of The Troubles

Families of Northern Ireland Troubles victims hailed the meeting as a 'historic day'

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Representatives from all the major parties, North and South, have signed a document outlining their rejection of the UK Government proposals to introduce an “amnesty” for legacy killings.

Families of Northern Ireland Troubles victims hailed the meeting as a “historic day”.

The document, signed by all the main parties in Belfast and Dublin, states that they reject the British Government’s proposals on dealing with the past, including amnesty for those accused of murder.

A delegation of Irish TDs and senators – as well as members of the DUP, Sinn Fein, the SDLP and Alliance – met with the cross-community group of victims’ campaigners on Monday.

Among the signatories included Fianna Fail senator Mark Daly, Labour’s Brendan Howlin, Fine Gael senator Emer Currie, Green Party TD Patrick Costello, and Fianna Fail’s James Lawless, as well as SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly and DUP MP Jim Shannon.

Speaking outside Belfast City Hall, Raymond McCord, whose son Raymond Jr was murdered by loyalist paramilitaries, said the document is as important as the Good Friday Agreement.

He said: “The British Government has no choice now. Every major political party in Ireland now support this, they can’t ignore that. The victims’ groups in England is supporting us as well.

“People in the UK and Ireland support this. Boris Johnson is taking on all of the people now.

“It’s not an orange or green issue, or unionist or nationalist, it is the victims.

“I want to see Dublin parties and the Taoiseach (Micheal Martin) on board, I want to see the EU on board and the Americans come on board.”

In July, Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis announced plans for a statute of limitations which would end all prosecutions for Troubles incidents up to April 1998 and would apply to military veterans as well as ex-paramilitaries.