On the afternoon of March 4, 1972 two young women, Jennifer McNern and her sister Rosaleen, were casually having a coffee at the Abercorn restaurant in Belfast city centre. At 4.30pm a five-pound gelignite bomb left in a handbag exploded inside the restaurant.
Two young women were killed and 130 people injured. The two McNern sisters were horrifically mutilated. Rosaleen lost both her legs, her right arm and an eye. Jennifer lost both legs.
According to Ed Moloney in his book Voices From The Grave, PIRA sources have unofficially confirmed that they were responsible for the atrocity.
For many years Jennifer, together with the Wave Injured Group, has energetically campaigned to obtain long overdue pensions for the most severely injured victims of the Troubles.
In January of this year they thought that they had finally succeeded with the formal assent to the Victims' Payment Scheme.
This scheme had been due to open for applications at the end of May. But cruelly and insensitively, their special pension scheme has been outrageously stalled in an unnecessary stand-off between the Stormont Executive and Westminster over who pays for it.
The payment is to assist those like Jennifer who have been most grievously affected by Troubles-related injuries.
Most are much older now, indeed some have already died. Many are finding life increasingly more difficult. Coping with pain and disability arising from terror atrocities like the Abercorn restaurant bombing has become a serious problem for them in their declining years.
The failure to provide proper recompense for victims of the Troubles has been a scandal for far too long. But now, given the latest saga, it has become a humourless farce.
Victims' Commissioner Judith Thompson, in an uncharacteristically blunt reaction to the whole debacle, said: "These people have suffered enough. They have campaigned for what they are now entitled to and they now have the added trauma and insult of watching government departments fighting over who pays for it. It is not acceptable."
Ms Thompson is critical of both the Executive and the British Government: the Executive for not designating a department to administer the payment, and the British Government for not providing the necessary money to pay for it.
She accepts that slippage might have been excusable given the slowdown in government occasioned by Covid-19, but this clash between the two administrations is unacceptable. In addition, there had been no communication with victims' groups as to what was happening.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Brandon Lewis lamely says that he "shares the huge frustration" caused by the delay to Troubles pensions. Nonetheless, he insists that the Executive pays for it. He weakly claims that it was always intended that this pension would come out of the block grant.
This, however, does not fit in with the political circumstances pertaining at the time of the parliamentary legislative process. During this period there were serious discussions ongoing here about the restoration of the Assembly.
The suggestion that Stormont should foot the bill is ludicrous given the extra burden that this pension will impose upon the devolved budget, which was already badly stretched even before the implications of Covid-19 are taken into consideration.
All this despite the fact that the First Minister has pointedly said the pension scheme was unaffordable without Treasury funding.
She also convincingly points out, with some considerable weight, that the legislation - which she fully supports - was passed at Westminster months before the Executive was eventually restored at Stormont in January 2020. There was no Executive in place to decide that the burden of paying for the pension cost would be out of the Northern Ireland block grant.
Arlene Foster has publicly said that she has spoken directly to Mr Lewis and that she urged him to stand by the legislation at Westminster and fund the pension.
To say that victims' organisations are angry and frustrated is an understatement. The sense of betrayal and disappointment is very evident.
Wave Trauma Centre, which led the campaign for the pension, declared: "It's shameful that the scheme that the Wave Injured Group campaigned for and achieved will not start next week as the law requires."
In addition, Wave's Alan McBride has warned the Executive that the group has instructed its solicitors to issue legal proceedings to get the scheme activated if action by the administration is not forthcoming.
Kenny Donaldson, a victims' campaigner with the South East Fermanagh Foundation, said that this row will cause a great deal of distress to victims and their families.
He fairly asks a poignant question: "Why is politics yet again being played with victims and survivors of the Troubles?"