‘It’s impossible for victims to get justice’ says Magherafelt campaigner

Dr Hazlett Lynch with a picture of his brother Kenneth Norman Lynch who was murdered by the IRA. Picture : Simon Robinson
Dr Hazlett Lynch with a picture of his brother Kenneth Norman Lynch who was murdered by the IRA. Picture : Simon Robinson

A root and branch change of the legal system is urgently needed if victims of terrorism are to get justice, a Magherafelt-based victims’ campaigner has claimed.

Dr Hazlett Lynch, whose policeman brother Kenneth was murdered in an IRA ambush near Ardboe in 1977, said the current system protected terrorists and prolonged the agony of victims.

He told the Mail that money given by the government to victims’ groups would be much better spent changing the legal system to make it easier for the innocent victims of terrorism to have their day in court.

Dr Lynch said the whole justice and human rights sector are inter-linked and accused government of making it impossible for victims to get justice by “buying off” victims groups.

“You would now be hard pushed to tell the difference between a victims’ group and a community group,” he claimed.

“It is wasteful for government to fund community groups that masquerade as victims groups. All this is doing is keeping people in well paid jobs with no activity whatever to get justice for the members.”

Dr Lynch, who attended a meeting in the Senate Chamber at Stormont on Monday marking the annual European Union memorial day for the victims of terrorist attacks, argued that the human rights community had failed and millions could be saved annually by replacing it.

“The UK government must remove the iniquitous Human Rights legislation from the statue book, and replace it with legislation that favours the innocent and make conviction of the guilty easier.” he continued.

“Unless and until this is put in place, any hope of justice for victims of terrorism is both a waste of time and a waste of money.

“So long as government-funded human rights organisations work hand-in-glove with those who deny victims of terrorism the justice they crave, hope for justice disappears, and the victims who trust such organisations have only one thing to face - the deepest imaginable devastation.”

Dr Lynch went on to ask who do the innocent victims of terrorism - both Republican and loyalist - turn to for justice.

“The police have now set up an internal organisation to investigate how their police colleagues conducted investigations into historic murder cases,” he said.

“How pathetic! Can victims of terrorism expect it to serve justice for their loved one is to expect far too much.”