Belfast Telegraph

Community leaders must do more to bring about resolutions

By Kenny Donaldson

We hold a consistent policy in opposing terrorism and criminal violence irrespective as to who the perpetrators are, by extension we are also consistent in our opposition to showings of terrorism idolatry or glorification.

We at Innocent Victims United acknowledge that families will grieve and have an absolute right to remember a loved one irrespective of the circumstances in which that individual lost their life.

But what we will not accept nor endorse are public showings of terrorism idolatry.

Those who subscribed to an ideology which provided them with the justification to murder their neighbours or those who excuse such actions must be faced down.

Remorse, repentance and restitution - not terrorism idolatry - is the only way reconciliation can be attained in this country at both a communal and individual level.

Across these lands and beyond on almost every day of the year, families remember loved ones whose lives were taken through acts of terrorism. Over the years these families have acted with immense dignity and courage.

Their approach is in stark contrast to the coat-trailing efforts of republican and loyalist terror organisations and their political voices who are not acting in the interests of the surviving families.

They most certainly are doing nothing to heal the pain of those they so grievously wronged.

Unashamedly our concern is with the innocent, those whose loved ones were stolen from them because of sectarian-fuelled hatred.

So-called political, religious and other civic leaders have a choice - stand by the innocent victims and survivors of terrorism and seek to encourage genuine peace and reconciliation - or continue to be a part of the problem by either promoting or excusing the perpetuation of terrorism through act or omission.

Kenny Donaldson is spokesman for Innocent Victims United

Belfast Telegraph

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