By Matthew Leslie
A WOMAN whose mother was killed in the 1987 Remembrance Day bombing in Enniskillen has condemned the British Government’s Legacy Bill as “a disgrace” and “disgusting”.
Aileen Quinton, whose mother Alberta was one of 12 people killed when an IRA bomb exploded near the town’s war memorial 35 years ago, said that she feels the Tory party have gone back on their promise to find the bombers and bring them to justice.
The Legacy Bill, of which the third reading of it was passed through the House of Commons last week, offers a conditional amnesty to those accused of killings and other Troubles-related crimes
That would mean that were the perpetrators of the 1987 bombing were still alive and identified, because of the amnesty, they would not stand trial.
“I think it’s a disgrace – it’s disgusting,” said Aileen. “When my mother was murdered, the-then Tory government (under Margaret Thatcher) promised us that no stone would be left unturned in an effort to bring those responsible to justice.
“Now they’re going to be cementing the stones down to try and get this Bill through all its stages.
“I remember when Labour tried to do something similar when they were in power back in 2005, the Tories were on our side – which they really only tend to be when they’re in opposition.
“The Tories back then were making the arguments for our side – those arguments have not changed because the basic principles of justice have not changed.
“So this Bill going through the House of Commons is appalling on so many levels. Even if there is very little chance of anybody being brought to book, at the very least, let them be looking over their shoulders.
“There is a difference between something not being possible or being difficult and this Bill will actually be legislating it into impossibility.
“Say if the Health Service were to suddenly decide that because pancreatic cancer is ‘really challenging to treat’ they were not going to treat anybody anymore. That’s what this Bill is effectively saying.
“To me, one of the most dangerous things about this, is that so many victims across the board have held onto and promoted the idea that you shouldn’t take the law into your own hands.
“There have been so many appeals for ‘no retaliation’ – not that there were entirely listened to but the whole principle of not taking the law into your own hands stands because the law is already in somebody’s hands.
“It’s somebody’s job to do this so if you’re actually going to say that the State is not going to do that job then where does that leave that argument?”
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