Dungannon councillor to use MBE as a vote for victims of the Troubles

Cllr Sammy Brush
Cllr Sammy Brush

Dungannon councillor Sammy Brush has vowed to use his recent Member of the British Empire nomination to help victims of the Troubles.

The DUP man, who believes he survived an IRA gun attack 33 years ago for a reason, said despite plans to wind down after finishing as a councillor, that he’ll continue to work within the community.

And one of the first issues he hopes to help address is what the word victim means within Northern Ireland.

“The definition of victim in this country, to me, leaves a lot to desired and until that’s properly cleared up, and we adopt the same attitude to terrorists as the rest of the EU... then I think victims are still on a ‘hiding to nothing’.

“As long as they have been cast in the same group as those who committed the atrocities, I think that’s a serious injustice and it’s got to be fought.

“It’s not going to be an easy battle, but it’s got to be fought and fought, and fought again, because it’s morally right and it has to be defended.”

Cllr Brush was also awarded a British Empire Medal in the 1982 honours list after being shot by Gerry McGeough whilst working as a postman in Aughnacloy in June 1981.

“Having been spared,” he said, “and told shortly afterwards by a good friend of mine - Harry Stevenson - that I had been spared for a purpose, I suppose it has spurred me on to try to encourage other victims, and to try to fight to get as much recognition for the victims as possible. He just said; ‘make sure you work to fulfill that purpose’... and I intend to continue to do that.

“Victims and survivors, to me, are the most important people in the country at the present time and have been badly neglected in my opinion.

“They have been pushed to the one side because they didn’t have the guns or the bombs to force the government to recognise them and give them what they deserve.

“I think that’s a battle that has to continue for years to come.”