The money doesn't matter

THE brother of one of the workmen killed in the Teebane Massacre has said no monetary compensation will bring happiness or satisfaction to his family.

Robert Irons (61) died in the 1992 attack when a bomb exploded close to the construction workers' van in which he was travelling.

The men's firm had allegedly been targeted because they carried out work for the security forces.

His brother Jimmy is still fighting for justice and is incensed by British government plans to tackle Libya for compensation due to their alleged supply of weapons to the IRA.

"The British government have sold us down the tube," he claimed.

"They often forget we in Northern Ireland are still part of the British isles and they've let us down really badly.

"Americans had managed to pin Libya down but Gordon Brown didn't even bother until now. It's the same old story - if you do nothing, you get nothing."

Jimmy Irons spoke to the MAIL the same week it emerged Gordon Brown supported plans from the families of IRA victims to seek compensation from Libya in the wake of recent trade relations with the country.

While some families back plans for compensation, Mr Irons said he, like most families affected by the troubles, did not want money.

"I don't want 12,000 or any other money they want to give me and an apology is only words from a mouth.

"I'm not giving up. I'll fight to the bitter end to face the people who took away my brother's life.

"I want to face the people who did it. I'd be calm enough, but I'd want to know why my brother and so many other innocent lives were lost."

As a result of his brother's murder, Jimmy said he was forced into early retirement due to problems with his memory.

"Victims voices are never really hear," he argued. "People have no idea what goes on behind the scenes.

"Our family was completely wrecked when Robert died. He was the life and soul of every gathering, a real character, and we miss him very much."

Another of the Teebane victims, Nigel McKee (22), was related to the Irons family through marriage.

"We had the two fumerals on the one day," said Jimmy. "Robert and Nigel were snatched from the family circle.

"Robert left behind his son and his wife Esther. She died from cancer a few years ago which I think could have all started with Robert's death."

The death of Robert has clearly left a lasting impact on his brother and recent British government actions have left him still soured.

"I and my family are only one of thousands of victims. I'm not after money, but this is the only way that we can seem to get Libya to accept responsibility in part for Northern Ireland.

"But I'm not going to hold my breath for Gordon Brown and the government, we've been let down by the system too many times.

"We're treated like dirt and nobody seems to care about us. Well I'm going to fight so that we're heard, it's the only way."