Belfast Telegraph

Government failed to help IRA victims: campaigner

By Adrian Rutherford

Some victims who survived IRA attacks went on to take their own lives because of a lack of support from the Government, a campaigner has said.

The warning comes ahead of a fresh bid to secure compensation for Libyan-sponsored IRA terrorism.

A motion on financial redress for victims is due to be debated in Parliament tomorrow.

Ahead of the debate, Jonathan Ganesh, who was seriously injured in the 1996 Docklands bombing, has written to every MP asking for their support.

Mr Ganesh, from the Docklands Victims' Association, said it was a chance to take a stand for all victims of terror.

He said the stress of the fight for compensation had taken its toll on people.

"Due to the suffering of the victims during this campaign, a number of them have sadly committed suicide or attempted suicide due to the stress caused we feel by Her Majesty's Government.

"We have been compelled today to write to every Member of Parliament pleading for their support," he said.

Over 25 years, from the early 1970s, the Muammar Gaddafi regime supplied arms, funding, training and Semtex to the IRA.

Last May, a report by the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee criticised the failure of successive UK Governments to pursue compensation from Libya on behalf of the victims of Gaddafi-sponsored terrorism.

However, the Government response, published in September, did not accept the committee's recommendations.

Tomorrow's motion on compensation for victims picks up a cause highlighted in a Private Members Bill in the Lords from the Ulster Unionist Peer Lord Empey.

Ahead of the debate, Mr Ganesh has written to all 650 MPs.

His letter states: "As a victim of terror I can confirm that terrorism is undoubtedly the biggest threat to humanity we face today. However, as a result of this campaign, we now have an unprecedented opportunity to make a principled stand for all victims of terror."

Belfast Telegraph

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