Stormont ignorance of victims' plight is shameful
WHEN Arlene Foster took over as leader of the DUP and became First Minister, she spoke with optimism and hope for better days ahead for Northern Ireland, with the Fresh Start agreement as the process to achieve this objective.
The New Year has only just started and, rather than a Fresh Start for Northern Ireland and its people, we are still haunted and scarred by events of the past.
January 5 saw the 40th anniversary of the Kingsmills massacre in 1976, when 10 Protestants were murdered by the IRA. A memorial service was held last weekend, but the victims are no nearer to getting the truth - let alone convictions, or justice, for their loved ones callously murdered that night.
On January 17, the relatives of the victims of the Teebane massacre in 1992 met again for a memorial service on the Cookstown-Omagh Road to remember their eight loved ones murdered by an IRA roadside bomb. Again, there have been no arrests, or convictions, and Jean Caldwell, whose husband was murdered in the atrocity, has blamed the politicians for failing them.
On January 25, the Shankill Road bomb victims heard the horrific news that this attack could have been prevented as classified documents stolen in the 2001 Castlereagh break-in by the IRA and seen by media sources show that the IRA commander in Ardoyne at that time was an informer and he had informed his handlers of the plan to blow up Frizzell's fish shop in 1993, where nine innocent civilians were murdered.
Why was this attack not prevented? Whose decision allowed this attack to take place? And whose "political agenda" would such an attack assist?
When a sovereign government - be it at Westminster or Stormont - fails to either protect its citizens, or look after its victims of terrorism, then there can never be a Fresh Start or hope for a better future.
Traditional Unionist Voice
Cookstown, Co Tyrone