Investigating the Troubles
Sir, – With regard to an article relating to a submission made by members of the House of Lords in London to the Northern Ireland Office consultation review process carried out by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Karen Bradley, I find it interesting that the views of certain members of the House of Lords were released so soon after the close of the submission date, especially given the volume of paperwork the commission must surely have received with respect to this review (“Stop investigations of killings during the Troubles, UK political figures urge”, News, October 10th).
I would imagine that they would be hard-pressed to find any victims’ submissions that would concur with this agenda of ignoring the truth, crudely throwing money at a problem and hoping it disappears.
I am aware that realistic and credible proposals have been submitted which may assist in resolving some of the issues they highlight and allow people the dignity of finding out what happened to their loved ones and so move on.
The selective release of this information before consideration of all other proposals is questionable.
It also fails to understand the real issues that lie behind the current cases before the courts. These cases, like so many others which are not before the courts, were never investigated properly at the time due to an illegal arrangement between the RUC and the military in the early years of the “Troubles”.
In some instances, the basic right of an inquest has been denied.
The current prosecution of soldiers referred to in the article is a correction of a failure of state mechanisms from the earlier time period mentioned. This does not constitute a witch hunt, unless of course you are prone to a fanciful imagination.
This submission can be viewed simply as part of an ongoing effort by the British government seeking to find a way out of their current difficulty of dealing with bad decisions of a colonial past that has now caught up with them.
It feels the need to shut down the questioning of the past as it is causing problems for current and future theatres of war.
If the civil powers, in Stormont and Whitehall, did not behave in a criminal fashion, then they have nothing to fear from revealing their records. – Yours, etc,