Belfast Telegraph

Republic of Ireland's Troubles injured must also get pension: campaigner

The Government was under a legal duty to introduce a victims payment scheme in Northern Ireland by next summer if the Stormont Executive was not up and running by October 21 (stock photo)
The Government was under a legal duty to introduce a victims payment scheme in Northern Ireland by next summer if the Stormont Executive was not up and running by October 21 (stock photo)
Lauren Harte

By Lauren Harte

A leading victims campaigner says it's "unacceptable" that people who were seriously injured in the Republic of Ireland during the Troubles won't qualify for a new Government pension.

Kenny Donaldson from Innocent Victims United was speaking after the Northern Ireland Office published a consultation on proposed payments for victims injured "through no fault of their own".

The most-severely disabled victims of the Troubles could receive a special pension of almost £10,000 a year while smaller payments are proposed for those with less severe disabilities.

The Government was under a legal duty to introduce a victims payment scheme in Northern Ireland by next summer if the Stormont Executive was not up and running by October 21.

Regulations to enable the pension payments to be made must be finalised by the end of January.

Following a five-week public consultation, which will run until 11.45pm on November 26, the first payments are due to be made by the end of May next year.

More than 3,500 people were killed and an estimated 40,000 injured during the Troubles.

But Mr Donaldson says citizens of the Republic of Ireland injured in that jurisdiction will be discriminated against.

They include those who survived the UVF's Dublin/Monaghan bombings which claimed 33 lives in May 1974.

He said: "If the Republic of Ireland state is unwilling to contribute to the pot in terms of ensuring equality of access and treatment for their citizens through the UK-led scheme then they must commit immediately to the introduction of a comparable scheme to support seriously injured victims/survivors who were victimised within their jurisdiction.

"There must also be recognition of those impacted by mainland European violence which saw 15 innocents murdered by the Provisional IRA but scores of others seriously injured, some of whom are not UK citizens.

"The days of excluding innocent victims/survivors from support based upon a circumstance of geography must be over.

"Terrorism knows no borders and governments must work together creatively to ensure that their citizens are all accommodated and treated fairly and equitably," Mr Donaldson added.

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