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Daughter of murdered UDR soldier calls government legacy plans ‘rotten to the core’


David Graham.

David Graham.

David Graham.

The daughter of a UDR corporal who was murdered by the IRA has called the UK Government “rotten to the core” over new plans to deal with the legacy of the Troubles.

Serena Hamilton’s father, David Graham, was shot dead in Coalisland by the Provisional IRA in 1977.

A part time member of the UDR, he died of his injuries ten days later in hospital and, four decades on, no one has ever been brought to justice.

Speaking to BBC Evening Extra, Ms Hamilton reacted to the Government’s plans for a statute of limitations that would end all prosecutions of ex-paramilitaries and security force members during the Troubles.

“I’m just absolutely disgusted to hear Boris Johnson saying that it’s good for innocent people to move forward,” she said.

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“How can you move forward when you haven’t got justice in the first place for such heinous crimes that happened to the likes of my father, that his life was taken away in 1977 by terrorists.”

She continued: “You’re going to give terrorists an amnesty? That is OK for them to commit murder? It’s absolutely heart wrenching, it’s disgusting.

“The government’s rotten to the core to do something like this and anybody that stands up and lets this happen is rotten to the core as well.

“There’s no justification to allow this to happen. We’re not going to take away the headstones that we have of our loved ones.

“We can’t take that away, you can’t rewrite history. Our loved ones were murdered. I’m not angry, I’m just so disgusted and heart broken.”

Asked if she ever expected justice for her father’s murder, she said: “No, because there’s no will from the government for a start….there’s been so many dirty deals done from year in, year out and the Good Friday Agreement was the start of the dirty deals to appease terrorists.”

Ms Hamilton said she was also frustrated over any suggestion that victims were holding up progress in Northern Ireland.

“That’s an absolutely ridiculous thing to say. We don’t hold up peace, everybody wants peace. We’re not disillusioned from the fact that we’ll not ever get justice for my father’s murder, I know that.”

The government plans have been criticised by all five main political parties in Northern Ireland as well as the Irish government.

Deputy First Minister, Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill, accused the Government of hiding its role during the Troubles.

"Once again the British government has shown its complete disregard for the people of the north, for victims of the conflict, for our peace process and for its agreements,” she said.

“Families who have campaigned with dignity and determination have been left angered and hurt by this further attempt by the British government to cover up the truth and put its forces beyond the law.

"Some of these families have been fighting for truth for five decades. They have been forced to take to the streets and to go to the courts in an attempt to find out the truth about the deaths of their loved ones.”

She continued: “It’s clear that the British government’s objective is to end independent investigations, inquests, judicial reviews, civil cases and also prosecutions involving British soldiers already before the courts.”

Ms O’Neill added that Sinn Fein would continue to demand the implementation of the Stormont House Agreement.

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