Belfast Telegraph

Victims' body calls on parties to sign its anti-terror pact

BY LIAM CLARKE

Candidates in the European elections are being asked to sign a contract on behalf of their parties which seeks to make many republican and loyalist commemorations illegal.

It would also commit Stormont to an annual event commemorating victims of terrorism throughout Europe.

The 10-point contract was presented to six Euro candidates by Innocent Victims United (IVU) in Cookstown this week.

So far only Jim Allister of the TUV, who is a party leader as well as a candidate, has signed. Five other candidates who attended the meeting have agreed to take the contract back to their parties and they have until next Wednesday to agree to sign.

Besides Mr Allister, those present at the event included Diane Dodds of the DUP, Jim Nicholson of the UUP, Alex Attwood of the SDLP, Henry Reilly of Ukip and Tina McKenzie of NI21.

Mr Reilly indicated that he supported the contract but is bringing it to Nigel Farage, his party leader, to see if Ukip as a whole can endorse it.

Kenny Donaldson of IVU said: "The glorification of terrorism is so endemic that it runs right throughout society. If you have a band parade named after a particular terrorist, whether it is in Belfast or Portadown, those issues we would say would have to be resolved and can't happen. They should not happen."

It also calls for a "sports code", which is believed to refer to the fact that some GAA trophies and teams are named after Troubles-era republicans.

BACKGROUND

Innocent Victims United is an umbrella organisation which claims to include 21 victims/survivors support groups with a combined membership of 11,000 people. IVU has been influential in the successful campaigns to stop the building of a Conflict Transformation Centre at the Maze and to stop the employment of former paramilitary offenders as special advisers at Stormont. IVU's Charter for Innocent Victims has already been signed by the DUP, UUP and TUV.

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