Belfast Telegraph

Victims of IRA campaign in Britain in line to benefit from new EU healthcare funding

By Michael McHugh

Victims of the Troubles living in Britain are to be targeted for special healthcare support underpinned by EU money.

The programme aims to improve the well-being of survivors who have suffered as a result of violence.

The IRA bombed cities in Britain many times throughout the decades-long Troubles, which lasted from 1969.

The Victims and Survivors Service in Northern Ireland is calling for funding applications from community and voluntary organisations under an EU programme known as PEACE 4.

It said: "The aim of the programme is to improve the health and well-being of victims and survivors, and will target hard-to-reach and marginalised individuals and communities that have suffered as a result of the Troubles, through the development of a number of new and innovative initiatives." Victims of the London Docklands bombing of 1996 are among those already preparing to submit an application.

Jonathan Ganesh is president of the Docklands Victims' Association (DVA).

He was trapped in rubble after the IRA's 1996 Canary Wharf bombing in which one of his friends died.

"People injured by IRA bombs need help regardless of where they live," he said. "The delay has been bizarre because the IRA were so active in London, but it looks like this will be recognised now, which I welcome."

He said the DVA application had received 29 letters of support so far, including from victims of the 1983 IRA bombing of Harrods in London, as well as DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson and veteran Tory Norman Tebbit, whose wife was left disabled in the Brighton Hotel bomb in 1984.

During the Troubles republican bombs exploded in places like London, Birmingham, Warrington and elsewhere, killing and injuring many.

The Government has been urged to ensure that victims of IRA terrorism in Britain are included in any new pension scheme for the most badly injured.

The victims' service is searching for additional health and well-being caseworkers, having funded 21 positions in Northern Ireland last year.

         

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