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It’s wrong, says father of man shot by UVF

By Rebecca Black

Published 01/05/2015

Victims have reacted with horror to the prospect of a former leader of the PUP becoming Victims' Commissioner.

Two men who sons were murdered by the UVF were shocked to learn that Dawn Purvis had been shortlisted for the high-profile position.

John Allen, whose son John (31) was killed by the UVF in 2003, said putting Ms Purvis in charge of victims "is definitely not appropriate".

"She was the leader of the PUP, the political wing of the UVF." he told the Belfast Telegraph.

Doagh man John Allen jnr died after being shot in the head and legs by two masked men at a flat at Rashee Park, Ballyclare. He was taken to Antrim Area Hospital but died a few hours later. No one has ever been convicted of his murder.

Mr Allen says he wants justice but feels like he will not get it in his lifetime.

"I am really disillusioned with the whole thing," he said. "At the end of the day I know I am not going to get justice, not in this life anyway. I pray every night that they will get their just desserts. That is what keeps me going."

Mr Allen has two other sons, one who is a lawyer and one who is studying medicine. He says he encourages them to live away from Northern Ireland after his family's trauma.

Meanwhile Raymond McCord said Ms Purvis as Victims' Commissioner would be a "nightmare" for victims, and has threatened to ignore the office if she is appointed.

"This is a nightmare for victims of the UVF," he said. "This is the woman, who when she was leader of the PUP refused to meet me. She said because David Ervine had met me.

"If she gets this job, I will never have any dealings with the office again. It beggars belief, she is the wrong person for this job. This would be a major step back.

"It's terrible to say, but I'd rather have a Shinner in the job."

Mr McCord's son, also Raymond, was killed by the UVF in 1997 in Newtownabbey. No one has ever been convicted of his murder.

He applied to be Victims' Commissioner himself several years ago but was unsuccessful.

"They told me I didn't know enough about the Troubles, and that I didn't have enough experience in dealing with the media," he said.

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