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Prosecution of police and soldiers must stop

News that yet more police stations could close across Northern Ireland clearly shows that the DUP-Sinn Fein love-in at Stormont is proving equally as effective at destroying Northern Ireland as successive UK governments have been since partition.

This comes at a time when - thanks to the legacy of the Historical Enquiries Team - many former RUC officers, UDR soldiers and a number of others risk being branded and convicted as criminals, while little happens to terrorists from various paramilitary organisations.

One must never lose track of the first two duties of the government, which are to defend the realm and uphold the rule of law.

That the Stormont Executive is manifestly failing to do just that, after many years of successive UK governments abdicating their responsibilities in Ulster, is a damning indictment of the self-styled 'unionists' in the DUP.

That the Executive should do so at a time when others are simultaneously calling for the reunification of Ireland post-Brexit is, likewise, a grave insult to those left grieving after the IRA and others prematurely sent their loved ones to their graves.

Accordingly, I have no compunction in calling for an immediate end to prosecuting former members of the security forces for defending Ulster during the Troubles; a halt to the closure of police stations across Northern Ireland and, if we are to see either the reunification of Ireland or, at least, ever closer liaison between police authorities in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland via the discredited Good Friday Agreement, the disbandment of the Police Service of Northern Ireland and immediate restoration of either the Royal Ulster Constabulary GC or the Royal Irish Constabulary.

Christopher Luke

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