Victims group respond to Coagh IRA men inquest

Kenny Donaldson
Kenny Donaldson

A victims group has responded to the recent news that inquests into the deaths of three IRA men killed in Coagh had been delayed.

In a letter to the Mid Ulster mail, Innocent Victims United said the relatives of IRA terrorists should throw themselves at the feet of victims’ relatives.

The letter comes just days after Sandra Overend reacted to the frustration expressed by relatives of the IRA men killed in Coagh.

“A number of families whose loved ones were murdered by terrorist organisations belong to our organisation and their frustration and hurt is palpable at what they see as; an inequitable approach being followed terms of; the cases pertaining to terrorists who lost their lives whilst engaged in acts of criminality and terror and the experiences of their families whose lives were taken for no other reason other than their perceived religion and/or ethnicity,” the letter begins.

“In Coagh and in many other parts of Northern Ireland, a vicious sectarian campaign was waged against the local community and the loss of life was significant. Many families were left broken, with loved ones cruelly taken in often the most cowardly of circumstances.

“The families and communities who gave support to terrorism, whether those murders were carried out in Coagh or elsewhere should be throwing themselves down at the feet of the families’ whose innocents were murdered and they should beg their forgiveness.

“Innocent victims and survivors of terrorism are being denied Justice and Truth because of a Peace process which is built upon ‘political appeasement.’ The conviction rates associated with murders carried out via terrorism (92% of the total ‘Troubles’ deaths) is downright disgraceful. The innocent victims and survivors of terrorism within Coagh and elsewhere have to date been let down and this must be redressed. Their right to have Justice and Truth delivered must be the focus of our Criminal Justice system and the broader community.

“We must all pledge ourselves to live in a way which will never again involve the dehumanising of people, determining their lives to be worthless and expendable.”