Push British for damages over Libyan-aided terror - Foster

Gadafy sent at least three shipments of Semtex to IRA during 1980s and 1990s

Acting Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster holds a press conference at Stormont on September 21st, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

The British government must be “pushed” into making compensation available for the victims of Libyan-sponsored IRA terrorism, MLAs have been told.

Acting First Minister Arlene Foster said they deserved financial recompense.

Speaking during Question Time at the Assembly, Ms Foster said: "We want to make sure that there is a just settlement in relation to having compensation paid to the victims of IRA terrorism - particularly in relation to product that has been delivered from Libya over the years.

“There are many victims who have suffered at the hands of that sort of product, therefore we need to push our own government into making sure that compensation is available.”


Ms Foster was standing in for DUP leader Peter Robinson, who stood aside from his post to facilitate intensive negotiations aimed at saving the powersharing devolved Assembly.

MPs are currently examining the role of the British government in seeking compensation for the victims of IRA attacks which were enabled by Semtex explosives and other weapons sent by late Libyan leader Col Muammar Gadafy.

Frozen assets

Last week it was revealed that more than £900 million (€1.246 billion) worth of frozen assets belonging to the dead dictator could not be accessed to provide compensation for IRA victims.

Foreign Office minister Tobias Ellwood told the Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee they were prevented from accessing the funds under EU law and risked being counter-sued by any new Libyan authority.

Col Gadafy sent at least three shipments of Semtex to the IRA during the 1980s and 1990s.

On Friday, police investigating violent dissident republican activity found half a kilo of Semtex - enough to make three under-car booby trap devices - during a search in West Belfast.

Ulster Unionist Neil Somerville said the discovery meant the threat was "very much still alive".

Press Association