Belfast Telegraph

GB Troubles group brings healthcare appeal to Belfast

By Allan Preston

Victims of the Troubles injured by IRA bombs in Great Britain travelled to Belfast yesterday to hand deliver an application for healthcare support.

Earlier this year the Victims Survivors Service (VSS) encouraged those affected by IRA atrocities around the UK to apply for funding to improve their wellbeing.

The programme, known as PEACE 4, is underpinned by EU money.

Among those making the journey to Belfast were survivors of the London IRA bombing of Canary Warf in 1996.

The Docklands Victims Association (DVA) said it was delighted to deliver the application in person, having long campaigned for the same help as victims of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

In a statement the group called it "absolutely appalling" that in the past they had been denied the same help as victims of IRA victims in Northern Ireland.

Mr Wayne Gruba, co-founder of the DVA, commented: "We felt it was necessary to travel to Northern Ireland today to hand deliver our application on behalf of all the those affected by IRA terrorism in GB. We have campaigned for a very long time for all victims of IRA terrorism in GB regarding this issue. If we are successful we will be able to provide more support to victims and their families."

Ishan Bashir lost his brother Inam Bashir in the Docklands bombing. "My family and I have never recovered from losing him," he said.

"I'm sorry but the DVA deserve to be awarded a case worker because they always supported and cared for us. They have had to raise funding themselves to help victims. How disgusting that IRA travelled from Northern Ireland to GB, killed and maimed hundreds, but we could not receive help as we did not live in Northern Ireland."

Susanne Dodd lost her father, Stephen Dodd, an inspector for the Metropolitan Police, in the Harrods IRA attack in 1983.

"It would be wrong not to give a case worker to the DVA because for many years I and many victims of IRA terrorism have benefited from their support," he said.

DVA President Jonathan Ganesh was himself trapped in the rubble of the Docklands bombing.

"If we are successful this will allow us to enhance our existing services," he said.

"I personally feel the VSS should help victims groups already established and based in GB who desperately need help."

Also adding her name to the application was Joyce Brown, she had been working as a toilet attendant in Midland Bank when she was injured in the Docklands attack.

"We have been let down by Governments," she said.

"The DVA have been fantastic in providing support to victims and their families. Through their campaigns they brought awareness of our predicament."

Belfast Telegraph

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