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Arlene Foster: Victims of Libyan-sponsored IRA terrorism deserve compensation

Published 21/09/2015

Arlene Foster said victims of Libyan-sponsored IRA terrorism deserve a financial recompense
Arlene Foster said victims of Libyan-sponsored IRA terrorism deserve a financial recompense

The UK Government must be "pushed" into making compensation available for the victims of Libyan-sponsored IRA terrorism, MLAs have been told.

Acting First Minister Arlene Foster said they deserved a financial recompense.

Speaking during Question Time at the Assembly Mrs Foster said: "We want to make sure that there is a just settlement in relation to having compensation paid to the victims of IRA terrorism particularly in relation to product that has been delivered from Libya over the years.

"There are many victims who have suffered at the hands of that sort of product therefore we need to push our own Government into making sure that compensation is available."

Mrs Foster was standing in for DUP leader Peter Robinson who resigned his post to facilitate intensive negotiations aimed at saving the powersharing devolved Assembly.

MPs are currently examining the role of the UK Government in seeking compensation for the victims of IRA attacks made possible by Semtex explosive and other weapons from the former Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi.

Last week it was revealed that more than £900 million worth of frozen assets belonging to the dead dictator could not be accessed to provide compensation for IRA victims.

Foreign Office minister Tobias Ellwood told the Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee they were prevented from accessing the funds under EU law and risked being counter-sued by any new Libyan authority.

Colonel Gaddafi sent at least three shipments of Semtex to the IRA during the 1980s and 1990s.

On Friday police investigating violent dissident republican activity found half a kilo of Semtex - enough to make three under-car booby trap devices - during a search in West Belfast.

Ulster Unionist Neil Somerville said the discovery meant the threat was "very much still alive".

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