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Bomb attack casualty in plea for victims to be recognised

Published 27/12/2015

Alex Bunting lost a leg following a booby-trapped bomb attack in Northern Ireland
Alex Bunting lost a leg following a booby-trapped bomb attack in Northern Ireland

A man who lost a leg following a booby-trapped bomb attack in Northern Ireland has accused the Government of not listening to victims.

Alex Bunting, 61, tried to commit suicide after the 1991 blast under his taxi on the Sandy Row in South Belfast.

When he was moved to a different hospital to start months of orthopaedic treatment he was hurt again by another bombing. Later, having lost his business, he went to sign on for welfare only to be told he was listed as deceased.

Victims have accused political leaders of betrayal after they signed a deal in November which failed to deal with the toxic legacy of the past.

Mr Bunting said: "Let's work together to move forward and hope it never happens again, we must not allow this to happen again because I know my generation is the problem, it is not the kids or my grandkids, let's give them a life and move forward."

He accused the Government of not listening.

"We were left without a (victims) commissioner there for 18 months and Judith Thompson is now in and landed on her feet and hopefully she will do a good job for all victims but it is hard when Government won't listen."

He bore no hatred against his attackers.

"I realised I was angry, I was not a nice person to live with.

"I was carrying a hatred and hatred was what people had done to me and I could not get past that so through all the talking that I have done to other victims i realised what was the problem."

He said the perpetrators should be consigned to the past.

"So I decided never, ever to hate people and it was like a weight getting lifted off my shoulders. I don't hate people and religion or anything like that does not matter to me, I am being honest about that."

He drew no distinction between victims and injured perpetrators.

"I am a victim, I don't judge another victim and I don't think other victims should judge other victims.

"I try my best every day to help as many people as I possibly can,I go round and visit people who need help, people who are maybe looking services for victims like wheelchairs, artificial limbs.

"The victims of the Troubles were sort of left behind where limbs are concerned, and I am not saying anything against the army who came back from war and these lovely great plastic limbs came into it - we did not. I appreciate they should get everything they need, certainly, but don't forget about us."

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