Belfast Telegraph

IRA victims battle for Gaddafi’s cash

By John Mulgrew

Victims of Libyan-backed IRA attacks have stepped up the pressure on the UK and Irish governments to fight for compensation from the country’s assets.

Jonathan Ganesh of the Dockland Victims Association said he is planning a visit to the US in the coming week to ask politicians there “not to forget about the UK and Irish victims”.

“We are planning to go to Washington as we are concerned that Gaddafi’s frozen assets will only be used for the American victims.

“If the Americans are pursuing this avenue then the UK and Irish citizens should also be compensated.

“They must immediately take the initiative and basically fight for their own citizens – we are very weak if we can’t fight for our own.”

Jeffrey Donaldson, MP for Lagan Valley, said it was “essential” that the UK government continued to fight for compensation for victims of IRA atrocities.

“It is absolutely essential that our own government from the Prime Minister down fights for the compensation for victims of IRA attacks.

“We were let down the last time when the US got a settlement and the British were excluded.

“With a change of government we would hope that the Prime

Minister and Foreign Secretary make this a high priority — and that the money seized from Gaddafi’s evil regime goes to the victims of the atrocities.”

His comments come after two US senators contacted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking that Gaddafi’s frozen assets be used to plug a hole in a £1bn fund set up to compensate victims of Libyan terrorism.

At the moment only US citizens are eligible.

Colin Parry’s 12-year-old son Tim was killed in an IRA blast in Warrington in 1993.

“As ever the Americans are pro-active on behalf of their citizens who suffered at the hands of Gaddafi’s Libya,” he said.

“Bearing in mind the human and material costs borne by the UK in supporting the Libyan people's revolution to oust Gaddafi, one might imagine that our government would have solid grounds for pro-actively supporting its citizens much as the Americans have done and continue to do.”

Last week an IT Vdocumentary explored the former Libyan dictator’s relationship with the IRA, focusing on the supply of arms to the group during the height of the Troubles.

It also alleged that Colonel Gaddafi had sent more than than £1m in cash to dissident republicans to buy weapons before going into hiding.

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