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Victims of IRA tell Home Secretary they feel 'abandoned' in their quest for justice

By Brett Campbell

The Home Secretary has met with IRA victims from across the UK who have accused the government of abandoning them in their decade-long quest for justice.

The delegation led by Lord Tebbit, whose wife was left paralysed by the IRA bombing of the 1984 Conservative Party conference, included injured victims and relatives of those murdered in IRA atrocities carried out in Great Britain.

Jonathan Ganesh, who was severely injured in the IRA Docklands attack which killed two people and left more than 100 injured, said he was pleased that Amber Rudd had agreed to the meeting but described the struggle of many families to obtain justice as "very sad".

"The government should have helped us as we had actually become victims, which we accepted as a consequence of their policy regarding terrorism," he added.

"However, we feel abandoned. I hope the Home Secretary will help us rectify this injustice, not just for all IRA victims but for future victims of terrorism."

Ihsan Bashir, whose brother Inam was killed in same attack on February 9, 1996, said he is disgusted by the government's refusal to address "real issues".

"The government gives artificial support through funded groups but they will not give help to those seeking closure," he said. "My brother and all those killed and injured deserve so much more from their Government."

Julie Hambleton, the sister of Maxine Hambleton, who was only 18 when she was killed in the Birmingham pub bomb on November 21, 1974, was also part of the delegation. No one has ever been brought to justice for the bombs which exploded in two pubs, killing 21 people.

Earlier this year self-confessed IRA bombmaker Michael Christopher Hayes provoked outrage when he apologised for innocent people who were killed, but refused to say who planted the bombs in the Mulberry Bush and the Tavern in the Town.

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