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Fresh start agreement: Cross-community group accuses Northern Ireland political leaders of betrayal

Published 18/11/2015

1993: IRA bomb in Frizell's Fish shop killed 9 innocent people and one bomber
1993: IRA bomb in Frizell's Fish shop killed 9 innocent people and one bomber

The largest cross-community victims group in Northern Ireland has accused political leaders of betrayal.

The Wave Trauma Centre represents victims of an IRA bombing at a fishmonger's on Belfast's loyalist Shankill Road which killed nine innocent shoppers, the family of Jean McConville who was kidnapped, murdered and her body disposed of by republicans and those bereaved by alleged loyalist collusion with police in more than a dozen north Belfast killings among others.

Tuesday's Stormont "Fresh Start" deal between the British and Irish Governments and Northern Ireland's two largest parties failed to resolve the legacy of thousands of unresolved Troubles murders and countless badly injured.

Wave chief executive Sandra Peake asked: "Where is the fresh start for the bilateral amputees, the blind, the paraplegic and the severely traumatised?"

The deal, entitled A Fresh Start: The Stormont House Agreement And Implementation Plan, does not include previously proposed new mechanisms to find out what happened during the conflict, bring people to justice and establish support measures for the bereaved and injured.

Ms Peake added: "The reality is that they have abandoned and betrayed victims and survivors who have repeatedly been promised that there would be an inclusive and comprehensive way found to deal with the legacy of the past."

Thousands of unsolved murders from the 30-year conflict were due to be investigated as part of last year's Stormont House Agreement.

However some nationalists have accused the British Government of not meeting its obligations on transparency on its role during the conflict and ministers have now said they will "reflect" on a way forward as part of the new pact.

Ms Peake added: "The two Governments and political parties have said that dealing with the suffering of victims and survivors is central to Northern Ireland moving forward.

"They can no longer say that with any credibility."

Images from the Belfast Telegraph Troubles Gallery. Belfast IRA man on patrol in West Belfast 1987 - Pacemaker
Images from the Belfast Telegraph Troubles Gallery. Belfast IRA man on patrol in West Belfast 1987 - Pacemaker
IRA Bomb attack on the La Mon House Hotel
Customs officers check cars at the old Killen-Carrickarnon border post
John Hume is detained by soldiers during a civil rights protest in Londonderry in August 1971.
John Hume is detained by soldiers during a civil rights protest in Londonderry in August 1971.
La Mon House Hotel Provisional IRA Bomb Victim, Sandra Morris
La Mon House Hotel Provisional IRA Bomb Victim, Carol Mills
La Mon House Hotel Provisional IRA Bomb Victim, Christine Lockhart
RUC constable Victor Arbuckle who was shot during street disturbances on the Shankill Road Belfast. He was the first RUC man killed in the troubles. October 1969
Mrs Arbuckle, wife of constable Victor Arbuckle who was shot during the Shankill Road riots receives the Union Jack which covered the coffin during the funeral service at Roselawn Cemetry
Miami Showband massacre... A Ford Escort which was one of the cars used by loyalist gunmen, is left abandoned near the murder scene. 31/7/1975
Miami Showband
Darkley (Mountain Lodge Pentecostal Hall). The scene where three elders were shot dead by the INLA. The terrorists broke in during a church service. 20/11/1983
The children who escaped death by inches at Darkley, from left, Graham Ritchie, Helen Wilson, Nigel Wilson, Andrew Reid (standing) and Keith Ritchie, photographed the day after the INLA attack.
Sir John Hermon, the former Chief Constable of the RUC at the funeral of the RUC's 100th victim of the Troubles, Constable Neill Quinn. Newry 22/6/1081
Betty Williams, former leader of the NI Peace People, pictured with Mairead Corrigan.
UDA members being carried in a Land Rover along the Shankill Road. 22/05/72.
A soldier recieves first aid after being injured by debris after a car bomb exploded on the Crumlin Road. 29/05/72
Riots in Belfast.
UDR colleagues fire a volley of shots over the grave of Private Steven Smart, at Movilla Cemetary. Private Smart was killed along with three others after an IRA bomb blew up their Land Rover in Downpatrick. 13/04/90
Troops and UDA members on joint patrol at Clon Duff Drive in Castlereagh Road area of Belfast, 1972.
The funeral of RUC man William Russell, shot while investgating a burglary at the Avoca Shopping Centre, Andersontown, Belfast
Hunger striker Bobby Sands coffin, flanked by an IRA colour party, leaving his mother's home in Twinbrook.
Bobby Sands' son Robert Gerald holds his mother's hand at the funeral of his father Bobby in west Belfast flanked by Masked IRA men. Picture by Martin Wright
Army engineers take away the fallen statue of the famous Protestant minister The Rev 'Roaring Hugh Hanna' after an early morning IRA bomb blast at Carlisle Circus. 3/3/1970
Newly elected DUP MP Peter Robinson and his wife Iris. 4/5/1979
Peter Robinson about to invade the small village of Clontibret, Co Monaghan, in 1986.
Gerry Adams and Brendan Hughes in Long Kesh
Martin McGuinness in Derry's Bogside at a press conference. 1971
Members of the UDA provide an escort at the funeral of 30 year old John Lunnen Brown, a UDA volunteer, of Blackmountain Park, Springmartin. 01/07/72.
Northern Ireland Troubles Gallery: Mrs Mary Meehan who was shot by the army in Cape Street, 23rd october 1971. Family photo.
Northern Ireland Troubles Gallery: Scots Guardsman, Paul Nicholls, from Caithness, killed by an IRA sniper on the Falls Road, Belfast. 1971
Scene of the IRA bomb and shooting attack at Loughall Police Station which resulted in 8 IRA and 1 Civilian being killed.
Supporters of the UDA preparing food to be used by UDA members in the Shankill Road area. 02/07/72
MOURNERS CARRYING HURLING STICKS HEAD THE FUNERAL PROCESSION OF JOHN JOSEPH KAVANAGH, FOUND SHOT DEAD IN THE RIVER BLACKSTAFF. 27.01.1971.
A UDA checkpoint barrier at Moat Road. 08/06/72
UDA on the streets of Londonderry. 30/09/72
Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney, who spent 53 days on IRA hunger strike.
Some of the 24 Ulsterbuses which were burnt out after an IRA attack on the depot in Armagh. 28/4/1982.
Mourners panicking at Milltown Cemetery, Belfast, after a gun and bomb attack by Michael Stone which left three people dead and four seriously injured during the funerals of three IRA membes shot dead in Gibraltar. 1988
Joan Travers and her daughter Ann at the funeral of her other daughter, Mary, shot dead by IRA gunmen in Windsor Avenue, Belfast. while walking home from Mass with her father Judge Tom Travers. 1984
Ian Paisley at the scene of the IRA motar attack on Newry Police Station. which killed 9 officers. 28/2/1985.
President of Sinn Fein Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness at the funeral of Patrick Kelly . 1987
Martin Meehan (centre) with Gerry Adams at a funeral in Belfast in 1971 of a Belfast IRA commander.
UDA men line up for inspection at Bloomfield before the march. 30/09/72
Reverend Martin Smyth and Billy Hull with UDA leaders. 1972
The Shankill Road member. 1972
A man is frisked by masked members of the UDA at a barricade on the Lisburn Road end of Sandy Row. 1972
Belfast, Bloody Friday, 21 July, 1972, the IRA set off 26 explosions in Belfast, which killed 11 people and injured 130. 7 people were killed in Oxford Street bus station and 4 at a shopping centre on the Cavehill Road.
Riots in Belfast, 1969
A man talks to soldiers over the barricade, in Divis Street, Belfast. 16/8/1969
Respects are paid to the victims of Bloody Friday, Oxford Street, Belfast
Rioting in Belfast, 1962
A family flee their home during rioting in Belfast 1969
Belfast 1969
British soldiers patrol Belfast in 1969
Belfast City Hall bombed. 23/5/1994.
O'Tooles Bar (The Heights), in the quiet Co Down village of Loughinisland where UVF gunmen burst in opened fire, during a World Cup match on June 18, 1994.
O'Tooles Bar (The Heights) in the Co. Down village of Loughinisland. Six men were shot dead by two UVF gunmen, while they were watching the 1994 World Cup on television.
The ruins of McGurks Bar. Dec 1971
UDA barricades off Ainsworth Avenue. 04/07/72
John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono raise their fists as they join a protest in this Feb. 5, 1972, file photo in front of British Overseas Airways Corp. offices in New York on Fifth Avenue. The demonstrators called for the withdrawal of British troops from Northern Ireland.
Martin McGuinness handcuffed to a policeman after being remanded at Special Criminal Court in Dublin, January 1973.
SDLP press conference with John Hume, Gerry Fitt, Austin Currie and Paddy Devlin. 11/09/75
Behind the barbed wire of long kesh internment camp are SDLP MPs(from left)Paddy Devlin, Austin Currie, John Hume and Ivan Cooper. They were visiting internees. 21/09/71
Billy Wright ,loyalist fanatic who was shot dead in the Maze Prison, was leader of the renegade Loyalist Volunteer Force
Ulster Vanguard Movement: Ulster Vanguard Association Rally at Stormont. 29/03/72
William Craig:Leader of the Vanguard Unionist Progressive party.
Ulster Vanguard Movement: A section of the crowd at the Vanguard Association Rally at Ormeau Park. 18/03/72
Ulster Defence Association/U.D.A: 1972. Delegates at the talks between Vanguard, Ulster Defence Association and the Loyalist Association of Workers.
Ulster Vanguard Movement:September 1972.
As the Queen was visiting Belfast city centre in 1977, soldiers came under attack a few hundred yards away in the republican Falls Road area. An army captain was seperated from his unit and was being heavily stoned and kicked when a 'snatch squad' of his troops rushed the crowd to rescue him from the mob.
RUC: Police officers at the 12th parades at Portadown 1985.
The body of catholic man lies in an entry off the Shankill Road in West Belfast after being murdered by members of the Shankill butchers. 25/10/82. Pacemaker Press
Shankill Butcher Lenny Murphy
William Moore aka Shankill Butcher gang member. Pacemaker Press
Con Neeson who was killed by the Shankill butchers in the late 70's. Pacemaker Press
Shankill Butcher Edward McIlwaine. Pacemaker Press
Robert "Basher" Bates: Shankill butcher
A man with slashed wrists after an attack by the Shankill Butchers. Pacemaker Press
Some of the knives used by the Shankill Butchers in their attacks. Pacemaker Press
THE TROUBLES GALLERY - Drumcree
Orangemen On The Garvaghy Road, July 2000
Portadown March at Drumcree bridge July 2002 Portadown District Orangemen parade down to the barrier at Drumcree before trouble flared
Drumcree, Northern Ireland. A makeshift road block on main road into Portadown town centre
An injured woman is led away, Drumcree July 1997
A petrol bomber on the Garvaghy Road
Orangemen go no further as they reach the barrier at Drumcreee preventing them from marching on the Garvaghy Rd.
Tempers flare as Orangemen are blocked from walking the Garvaghy Rd, Drumcree, July 2000
Orangemen at Drumcree
Drumcree July 2000
Drumcree - July 6th 2002. Soldiers erect a security fence at Drumcree Church in Portadown.
PSNI riot team firing plastic bullets
Drumcree Orange Parade At Portadown July 1998. Portadown Grand Master Harold Gracey gives a speech to the crowds outside Drumcree Church of Ireland.
Orange Order: Drumcree, Portadown
GARVAGHY RD JULY 1996. POLICE OFFICERS REMOVE PROTESTING NATIONALISTS FROM GARVAGHY RD.
GARVAGHY RD JULY 1996. POLICE OFFICERS REMOVE PROTESTING NATIONALISTS FROM GARVAGHY RD.
DAVID TRIMBLE MAKES HIS WAY TO GREET THE PORTADOWN ORANGEMEN AFTER THEY MARCHED DOWN GARVAGHY RD 1996.
4/7/03 Garvaghy road residents spokesman Brendan MacCoinnaith pictured in Portadown.
Drumcree Orange Order Demonstration Scarfs drapped around the Road Sign of Drumcree near Portadown
Nationalist protesters walk to Garvaghy Road July 1997. Residents Coalition in Drumcree Portadown to voice their anger at Loyalist Parades through their area
Nationalist Protest March At Garvaghy Road March 1998. Brid Rodgers and Brendan McKenna in attendance at Garvaghy Road demonstration, Portadown
Northern Ireland Troubles gallery.....Nationalist Protest March At Garvaghy Road March 1998. Security Forces kept a Loyalist counter demonstration at a safe distance from Nationalist marchers near Oben Street, Portadown
Nationalist Protest March At Garvaghy Road March 1998. A young Loyalist waves the Union Jack at Royal Ulster Constabulary police in riot gear, from the Loyalist side of the town of Portadown, Northern Ireland, as a nationalist-republican protest march, passed by peacefully down the Nationalist Garvaghy road.
STAND-OFF BETWEEN PSNI AND ORANGEMEN.
Disturbances On Garvaghy Road Portadown May 1998. Rioters hurl stones at RUC riot police on the Garvaghy Road, Portadown, Northern Ireland, during disturbances following an Orange parade in the area.
An RUC officer fires plastic bullets at rioting nationalists on the Garvaghy Road
Garvaghy Road Residents Meet With David Trimble May 99. Brendan McKenna arrives at Craigavon Civic Centre to meet the First Minister David Trimble in an effort to solve the Drumcree stand off.
RIR Support The Orangemen At Drumcree January 2000. Members of the Royal Irish Regiment with a flag supporting Orangemen in Drumcree.
Army Prepare For Drumcree July 2001
Kathleen Feeney, 14, who was shot dead by an IRA gunman in Londonderry in a failed ambush on British troops. November 1973
Funeral courtege of Kathleen Feeney, 14, who was shot dead by an IRA gunman in Londonderry in a failed ambush on British troops. November 1973
Police and rioters clash in Londonderry after an Apprentice Boys march, 1969.
Martin McGuinness, Sinn Fein, pictured leaving court in Belfast after charges against him involving IRA membership were dropped 1976.
Belfast IRA men on patrol with new drogue bomb in Northern Ireland 1987
Royal Highland Fusilier, Robert Thompson from Hamilton, Scotland who was killed in Northern Ireland. July 27 1980
In March 1988 two corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, were stripped, beaten and shot dead, after driving into the path of a republican funeral in Belfast.
In March 1988 two corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, were stripped, beaten and shot dead, after driving into the path of a republican funeral in Belfast.
In March 1988 two corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, were stripped, beaten and shot dead, after driving into the path of a republican funeral in Belfast.
In March 1988 two corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, were stripped, beaten and shot dead, after driving into the path of a republican funeral in Belfast.
In March 1988 two corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, were stripped, beaten and shot dead, after driving into the path of a republican funeral in Belfast.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
First protest march to Belfast city centre. A crowd pictured at a meeting with Ian Paisley at Shaftesbury Square, Belfast. 9/10/1968.
Mr Austin Currie, MP, addressing the crowd.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
The first Civil Rights (Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association) from Coalisland to Dungannon, held on 24/8/1968. Pictured is a member of the official party leading the civil rights marchers, appealing to the crowd, and requesting that there should be no violence during the march in Dungannon.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
First protest march to Belfast city centre. A crowd of students pictured at a meeting with Ian Paisley near Belfast City Hall. Pictured is Ciaran McKeown(with beard). 9/10/1968.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
Banned Derry Civil Rights march broken up by RUC batons in presence of Gerry Fitt MP, three British Labour MPs and television crew. Two nights of rioting ensued. 5/10/1968.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
Banned Derry Civil Rights march broken up by RUC batons in presence of Gerry Fitt MP, three British Labour MPs and television crew. Two nights of rioting ensued. 5/10/1968.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
Banned Derry Civil Rights march broken up by RUC batons in presence of Gerry Fitt MP, three British Labour MPs and television crew. Two nights of rioting ensued. 5/10/1968.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
Civil rights marchers are confronted by a strong force of polive in Duke Street. October 1968
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
Banned Derry Civil Rights march broken up by RUC batons in presence of Gerry Fitt MP, three British Labour MPs and television crew. Two nights of rioting ensued. 5/10/1968.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
Images from the Belfast Telegraph Troubles Gallery IRA checkpoint, the early 1970's
Remains of the van in which 7 workmen were killed in an IRA landmine explosion in Teebane, Co.Tyrone. Pacemaker Press
Remains of the van in which 7 workmen were killed in an IRA landmine explosion in Teebane, Co.Tyrone. 18/01/92. Pacemaker Press
William Bleakes, one of the 7 workmen killed in the IRA 600lb bomb blast on the Omagh to Cookstown road at the Teebane crossing. Pacemaker Press
Cecil James Caldwell, one of the 7 workmen killed in the IRA 600lb bomb blast on the Omagh to Cookstown road at the Teebane crossing. Pacemaker Press
David Harkness, one of the 7 workmen killed in the IRA 600lb bomb blast on the Omagh to Cookstown road at the Teebane crossing. Pacemaker Press
Nigel McKee, one of the 7 workmen killed in the IRA 600lb bomb blast on the Omagh to Cookstown road at the Teebane crossing. Pacemaker Press
Robert Irons, one of the 7 workmen killed in the IRA 600lb bomb blast on the Omagh to Cookstown road at the Teebane crossing. Pacemaker Press
Catholic school children and their parents make their way to Holy Cross school under a heavy police and British Army presence in the Ardoyne area of North Belfast, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2001. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
School children and parents with RUC officers who had to escort them to the Holy Cross Primary School Ardoyne today. Photo by: Niall Marshall
Paulette Donnelly with her parents arriving at Holy Cross Girls primary School after walking through "Corridor of Hate" on Friday (7/9/01).
Holy Cross School, November 2001. Children laugh and sing as they make there way up the Ardoyne Road this morning after loyalist protests were suspended and things start to get back to normal for the first time since school term started in September of this year
Ardoyne residents try to overturn an army landrover in Ardoyne avenue after trouble flared up again outside the nearby Holycross school. Picture: Pacemaker
Alice Lee Bunting in tears as she makes her way to Holy Cross Primary School
Fr Aidan Troy at the front gates of Holy Cross Girls School
Holy Cross Primary School.
Holy Cross Primary School.
Holy Cross Primary School.
Smoke spreads as a pipe bomb explodes after it was thrown at police and army lines by protesting loyalists this morning in the Glenbryn area of Ardoyne, North Belfast, after Holy Cross Primary school children were marched through lines of Police and army on the second day back to school.
Holy Cross Primary School Protest September 2001. The postman was the only sign of normality this morning on the Ardoyne Rd as despite all that has been happening - the mail got through.
Holy Cross Primary School Protest September 2001. Riot police and army march Holy Cross school children and their parents past burnt out cars and protesting loyalists on their second day back to school in Ardoyne, North Belfast this morning.
An injured police officer is helped by two of his colleagues after a pipe bomb was thrown at them from protesting loyalists this morning in the Glenbryn area of Ardoyne, North Belfast, after Holy Cross Primary school children were marched through lines of Police and army on the second day back to school.
Terrified school children after a blast bomb was launched by protesting loyalists. The blast bomb injured one policeman and a police dog, this is the third morning trouble has flared as catholic parents and their children through a protestant area to the Holy Cross Primary School in Ardoyne, North Belfast.
Terrified school children after a blast bomb was launched by protesting loyalists. The blast bomb injured one policeman and a police dog, this is the third morning trouble has flared as catholic parents and their children through a protestant area to the Holy Cross Primary School in Ardoyne, North Belfast.
Terrified school children after a blast bomb was launched by protesting loyalists. The blast bomb injured one policeman and a police dog, this is the third morning trouble has flared as catholic parents and their children through a protestant area to the Holy Cross Primary School in Ardoyne, North Belfast.
An injured police officer is helped into an ambulance by his colleagues after a blast bomb was thrown at them from protesting loyalists in the Glenbryn area of Ardoyne, North Belfast, this morning, this is the third morning trouble has flared as catholic parents and their children through a protestant area to the Holy Cross Primary School in Ardoyne, North Belfast.
Police officers carry an injured dog away to get medical help after a blast bomb was launched by protesting loyalists
Catholic Holy Cross Primary School children in tears as their parents march them through armed police and army lines who where holding back protesting protestant residents in Ardoyne, North Belfast, on their first day back to school this morning.
Catholic Holy Cross Primary School children in tears as their parents march them through armed police and army lines who where holding back protesting protestant residents in Ardoyne, North Belfast, on their first day back to school this morning.
Protestant school children who were separated from their parents, scream for their mothers who were held behind armed police and army lines, before the catholic Holy Cross school children were brought to school in Ardoyne this morning.
Catholic schoolchildren are shepherded past protestant protesters at Ardoyne Road.
Holy Cross Primary School Protest And Riots Sept 2001
Holy Cross Primary School Protest In Belfast
Catholic children walking to the Holy Cross Primary School.
A pupil from the Holy Cross school in North Belfast interferance where trouble has been erupting for several weeks.
Ardoyne Road parents and their children on their way to Holy Cross Girls Primary School in what is now the tenth week of the dispute and loyalist protest.
Army bomb disposal experts blow up a second device in a grate beside a protestants car parked near the entrance to the Holy Cross Catholic Shool after having dealt with a suspect bomb across the road in the Protestant Wheatfield Primary And Nursery school.
Security forces keep a watchful eye as a young girl and her father walk up the Ardoyne Road in North Belfast to Holy Cross school. Police stepped up their security outside North Belfast schools after recent threats and trouble as parents walked their children to school.
Father Aiden Troy - Chairman of Board of Governors of Holy Cross School - discusses the sitation with a senior police officer on Ardoyne road
A man receiving attention during the shooting incident in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, which became known as Bloody Sunday, January 31, 1972.
Scenes from 'Bloody Sunday' in Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Stewart Gardner, Argylls second lieutenant of Dollar shot dead at Crossmaglen, Co Armagh. September 22nd 1972.
Government of Northern Ireland: The Executive. December 1973.
The Belfast Telegraph Troubles Gallery
The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.
The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.
The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.
The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.
Pictured is Jimmy Stewart, who lost both legs in the Abercorn Restaurant explosion. The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.
A casualty of the riots in Northern Ireland in 1972
Northern Ireland murder victim Irene Andrews who was murdered by John White on the 26th June 1973.
Belfast Fire Brigade Station officer McCleery, being carried from a bomb explosion, Cromac Street, circa 1971.
Peter Robinson of the DUP pictured in the Israeli Border Area with AK47 rifles while on a fact finding mission to the Middle East. Pacemaker Press Intl. Dec. 1984
Armed soldiers behind a wall on Londonderry's Bogside.
Main Street Claudy in August 1972 when three Provisional IRA car bombs exploded without warning, killing 9 local people and injuring many others.
John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono raise their fists as they join a protest in front of British Overseas Airways Corp. offices in New York on Fifth Avenue, Feb 5th 1972. The demonstrators called for the withdrawal of British troops from Northern Ireland.
Funeral of Walter Moore, who was shot while in a shop at the rear of Oldpark RUC base, Oldpark Road Belfast

She said victims had been told to wait repeatedly only to end up with nothing.

"Now they have been given a document that with absolutely no hint of irony is being called a 'Fresh Start' and there is nothing beyond a vague reference to continuing to 'reflect'.

"Where is the 'fresh start' for them?

"Where is the fresh start for those who were left in limbo when the Historical Enquiries Team was wound up without even the courtesy of a few hours notice?"

She questioned where is the fresh start for those who wanted their stories and testimonies of suffering recorded and acknowledged.

"Where is the fresh start for the bilateral amputees, the blind, the paraplegic and the severely traumatised who have to rely on a Private Members' Bill passing before the Assembly winds up to give them a modest pension to supplement the benefits that they are forced to live on because of their injuries?

"But perhaps the saddest, most depressing aspect of all this is that while they are shocked, disgusted and beyond disappointment they are not surprised."

The Commissioner for Victims and Survivors, Judith Thompson, said there was overwhelming disappointment.

"Once again it is those who have suffered the most and compromised the most to build a better future in Northern Ireland who are still left wondering if, and when, they will ever get the opportunity for acknowledgement, truth, justice and some form of reparation for the pain and suffering they have endured."

Meanwhile, lawyers representing the families of some loyalist terror victims as well as people killed by British troops, have vowed to continue their quest for justice.

In a hard hitting statement, KRW Law accused the British Government of using national security issues as an "excuse" not to open its files.

The statement said: "Not all victims of the violent legacy of the conflict in the north of Ireland want the same thing.

"There is no imperative at work in the motivation of victims. Some want nothing but to forget and reconcile their loss as best they can and move on with their everyday lives. Others want retribution. Others, the majority we suspect, simply want truth, justice and accountability - accountability which is different to retribution but which might contribute toward reconciliation. They want the file of their lost one marked closed but on their understanding that truth and justice has been accounted for, at last.

"Each move in the slow sad dance of litigation is contested, blocked and fought over.

"It will not, in the absence of a form of investigation of these violent acts which satisfies not only human rights but the rule of law, deter either ourselves or our clients. We, and more importantly they, are not going to go away."

Pat Finucane Centre and Justice for the Forgotten express 'deep disappointment and frustration'

Victims groups have expressed "deep disappointment and frustration" at the failure of the Stormont talks to tackle the legacy of Northern Ireland's troubled past.

The Pat Finucane Centre and Justice for the Forgotten, which represents 200 families, has accused Westminster of ignoring its obligations under human rights legislation to disclose the truth about the actions of state agents.

In a joint statement they said: "In their homes around the country, those who lost loved ones in the conflict will be privately grieving and angry at London's insistence that it must be able to redact/censor reports from the proposed Historical Investigations Unit on "national security" grounds.

"The PFC and JFF consider it totally unacceptable for the state to demand the right to conceal the actions of its agents in bombings, shootings and murders during the conflict. This was not part of the Stormont House Agreement in December 2014.

"If London had this right, it could mean that families would never discover that state agents, informers, UDR soldiers and RUC men had a role in their relatives' murders."

The Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) claimed the UK Government was effectively pulling down the "national security shutter" on legacy related investigations.

Brian Gormally, CAJ's director said: "Let us be very clear - this is not a question of the 'local parties failing to agree'. It is the UK Government that has vetoed progress by demanding the right to use 'national security' to cover up the unlawful activities of its agents.

"It will use state power to give impunity to state agents. In so doing, it jettisons the interests of victims and the truth, continues its violation of international human rights standards and undermines the rule of law."

National security concerns should not obscure scrutiny, says UN expert

The British Government should not use blanket national security concerns to obscure scrutiny, said a UN expert on truth-telling and justice for wrongdoing after conflict.

The credibility of Northern Ireland's institutions will continue to suffer while victims are asked to wait for redress of serious violations, said special rapporteur Pablo de Greiff.

The Stormont deal failed to address the legacy of unresolved murders and countless numbers of badly injured people requiring support. Sinn Fein blamed this on British Government failure to honour a previous agreement on full disclosure to meet the needs of victims.

Mr de Greiff said: "Although everyone must acknowledge the significance of national security concerns, it must also be acknowledged that particularly in the days we are living in, it is easy to use national security as a blanket term.

"This ends up obscuring practices which retrospectively it is often recognised were not especially efficient means of furthering security.

"In particular, national security, in accordance with both national and international obligations, can only be served within the limits of the law and allowing for adequate means of comprehensive redress in cases of breaches of obligations."

He said none of those involved in the conflict were neutral Troubles arbiters.

"This will also involve means for adjudicating issues concerning disclosure in a way that is credible to all."

Nationalists have pressed for more official information about state collusion with loyalists in killings.

Mr de Greiff called for equal rights for all in the judicial process and creating an overarching mechanism for connecting events of the past.

He said disclosure procedures will have to guarantee independence and impartiality and be seen to do so.

"Victims, some of whom have waited more than 40 years to see their rights violations redressed, are once again asked to wait longer. The credibility of institutions will continue to suffer."

The expert called on the government to staff judicial and police services adequately and warned failure to address the past had significant indirect costs.

Recommendations included creating a proper repository of records and archives, more psychological support and broader recognition of victims' rights.

A Northern Ireland Office spokeswoman said: "Although agreement on the establishment of new bodies to deal with the past was not possible this week as part of a wider agreement to secure Northern Ireland's devolved institutions, the Government will continue to work with Northern Ireland's political parties, Executive and victims groups on how we can move forward and achieve broad consensus for legislation.

"During the talks, it was never the position of the Government to take a blanket approach to national security. We are committed to giving full disclosure to the Historical Investigations Unit, once it is established, including information which, if it were disclosed generally, would damage national security.

"We are also committed to ensuring that the DPP and the courts and inspection bodies receive all such information so that prosecutions can be brought and justice can be done. Protective measures are needed in relation to public release of that information, if doing so would put our national security at risk.

"The UK has a clear obligation to ensure that people are kept safe and secure."

Key elements of agreement

Here are the key elements contained in the 67 pages of A Fresh Start - The Stormont Agreement and Implementation Plan.

Section A: Ending Paramilitarism and Tackling Organised Crime:

  • Signatories pledge a "resolute commitment" to complete process of ending paramilitarism and promise "most far reaching commitments ever taken to uphold rule of law and end paramilitarism".
  •  
  • The commitments, including undertaking to accept no instructions from such organisations, will be incorporated into the Executive's ministerial code of office and will also be required of all Assembly members.
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  • Executive and two governments will meet in December to agree new measures to tackle organised crime and paramilitarism.
     
  • A Joint Agency Task Force, comprising police commanders and customs officials from both sides of the border, will report to ministers every six months.
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  • Steps to speed up the criminal justice system, provide more support to victims and enhance forensic science capabilities.
     
  • Programmes established to prevent young people being drawn into paramilitary activity and to reintegrate former paramilitaries into wider society.
     
  • Executive will publish an action plan on tackling paramilitarism by June 2016.
     
  • A new four-member international body will monitor progress. The Executive will nominate two members of the panel, with the governments appointing one each. The panel will report annually to 2021.

Section B: NI Executive Financial Reforms and Context:

  • Previous commitments to reduce the number of Executive departments from 12 to nine by May 2016 and to cut the number of MLAs from 108 to 90 by the Assembly election after next go ahead.
     
  • Executive will be handed power to set its own rate of corporation tax with the intent of reducing the rate to the 12.5% levied in the Irish Republic by April 2018. Move is dependent on the Executive committing to a sustainable budget and implementing the rest of the Fresh Start agreement.

Section C: NI Executive Welfare and Tax Credits Top-Ups:

  • Reforms to the benefits system introduced elsewhere in the UK from 2012 will finally be rolled out in Northern Ireland through Westminster legislation, by way of a Legislative Consent Motion approved by the Assembly. An Act enabling Westminster to legislate on welfare in Northern Ireland will lapse at the end of 2016.
     
  • Executive has agreed to allocate £585 million over four years (a six year period was originally agreed) to top up welfare payments. £345 million will cover welfare claimants and £240 million will support those impacted by changes to tax credits. This policy will be reviewed in 2018/19.
  • A working group chaired by Ulster University professor Eileen Evason will decide exactly where the money will be spent.
     
  • The controversial so-called "bedroom tax" will not be introduced in Northern Ireland.

Section D: UK Government Financial Support:

  • The Government offered a £2 billion financial support package in last December's Stormont House Agreement (SHA).
     
  • It is boosting that package by a further £500 million to fund issues "unique" to Northern Ireland. This includes £160 million in additional funding, over five years, for the Police Service of Northern Ireland to tackle dissident republicans (this money represents a continuation of additional Treasury support already offered to the PSNI); £25 million for the Executive to tackle continuing paramilitary activity (match-funded by the Executive); £60 million to build community relations through initiatives such as bringing down community "peace walls"; and £125 million, over five years, to address fraud and error in the welfare system.
     
  • Executive will have the ability to retain half of the anticipated savings accrued through reducing welfare fraud and error.
     
  • The Government has offered "further flexibilities" to enable £500 million offered in the SHA for shared and integrated education schemes to also be spent on shared housing projects.
     
  • The £150 million for the legacy bodies envisaged in the SHA will only be released subject to an as-yet-elusive agreement on the establishment of those bodies.
     
  • Series of new control measures to prevent Executive overspends will be implemented.
     
  • Executive has conducted an in year "monitoring round" to rebalance its budget shortfall.
     
  • The Government will undertake to assess the impact of corporation tax reductions to make future adjustments to Northern Ireland's block grant.

Section E: Irish Government Financial Support:

  • The Dublin government has pledged "targeted investment" in cross-border economic infrastructure.
     
  • It has committed a further £25 million to the £50 million it is already spending on the A5 dual carriageway linking Londonderry to Aughnacloy. However, the Irish government had previously committed £400 million to the project - an undertaking it pulled in 2011.
     
  • It will offer 2.5 million euro (£1.75m) for a "development fund" for the north west of Ireland.
     
  • The Irish government will also "explore further development" of the Ulster Canal's cross-border waterway links.
     
  • It will also undertake, alongside the Executive, a review of the stalled plan for a cross-border bridge at Narrow Water between counties Louth and Down.

Section F: Implementation of other aspects of the Stormont House Agreement:

  • Plans for a commission to examine the thorny issues of flags, identity, culture and tradition will proceed.
     
  • So too will a plan to transfer from Westminster to the Assembly the responsibility for regulating parades. Executive discussion paper will be produced to outline options on how to regulate parades and associated protests.
     
  • The agreement acknowledges the implementation of new mechanisms to deal with the legacy of the Troubles, such as a new investigations unit and a truth recovery body, remain "work in progress" and signatories were "unable to find a way forward on some key issues".
     
  • The two governments have pledged to "reflect on options" for another process to achieve progress in this area.
     
  • Plans to set up provisions for the formation of an official opposition in the Assembly will proceed.
     
  • A new protocol will be agreed on the Assembly's contentious Petition of Concern vote blocking mechanism. It will include a pledge to only deploy it in "exceptional circumstances".

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