A woman who lost her legs in an IRA bomb is to take legal action against the Stormont Executive over the delay in the delivery of a victims' pension scheme.
Jennifer McNern sustained horrific injuries when she was 21 in the 1972 Abercorn restaurant bomb in Belfast city centre. Her sister Rosaleen also lost her legs, and her right arm, in the explosion.
Ms McNern will seek leave to apply for a judicial review in Belfast High Court early next week.
The legal action will focus on the Executive's "failure to comply with legislation to provide payments for those severely injured through no fault of their own during the Troubles".
The Victims' Payment Scheme had been due to open for applications on May 29.
But a row over the definition of a victim has meant that didn't happen, and structures passed into law at Westminster in January to administer the scheme aren't in place.
Victims sent a pre-action protocol letter to the Executive asking for an explanation three weeks ago. But last night they said that Stormont's response was "totally inadequate" and they now had no other option but to pursue the matter through the courts.
Alan McBride, coordinator of the Wave trauma centre, and who lost his wife Sharon and father-in-law Desmond Frizzell in the IRA's 1993 Shankill bombing, said he fully supported Ms McNern's legal action.
"In our letter to the Executive, we spelt out how upsetting it is for victims - some of whom live with the most awful injuries - that the structures to set up the pension scheme aren't in place.
"We asked when this would happen, when a department would be nominated to administer the scheme, and when the pension would actually be delivered to victims.
"The answers we got back show that no significant progress has been made by Stormont. Jennifer McNern's lawyers will be working over the weekend and legal action will be launched against the Executive early next week. Quite frankly, I think it's disgraceful that victims have been put in this position."
Mr McBride said that victims had taken their case to Westminster and that MPs had listened last year. "They legislated for a scheme and we thought that at last we were getting somewhere.
"It was then up to the restored Executive to fulfil its legal and moral obligations to those who have suffered so much, but they are refusing to do so."
Sinn Fein opposes the draft criteria for the scheme, which narrows the definition of victims to exclude those injured at their own hand or sentenced to more than two-and-a-half years in prison.
It is refusing to allow a Stormont department to handle the scheme which would begin the process of the fund being administered. Sinn Fein blames the British Government for the delay and says its criteria is flawed and discriminates against ex-prisoners.
There has also been a stand-off between Belfast and London over who pays the estimated £100m cost of the scheme, but Stormont sources believe that a compromise on this matter can be reached if the structures are set up.
DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said: "Whatever Sinn Fein's objection to ineligibility of bombers, they should acknowledge that people without convictions are utterly deserving. It is inhumane and heartless to block this pension."
Sinn Fein MLA Linda Dillon said her party wants a pension which meets the needs of all victims. "The British Government proposals on a victims' pension are unfair and discriminatory and do not reflect the Stormont House Agreement," she added.
The scheme would mean payments of £2,000-£10,000 a year for victims.