Saturday, 17 December 2016

Stop the prosecutions of former soldiers in Ulster

British Army roadblock 1988.jpg
Photo: By IWM Collections.

When the peace agreement was finally reached in Northern Ireland after all the "troubles" hundreds of suspected IRA members and even a suspected bomber involved in the Hyde Park atrocity were given amnesty. This helped secure the deal.

The news that two former soldiers are to be prosecuted for their part in the death of IRA terrorist Joe McCann has rightly caused outrage across the country as these two veterans now in their sixties could face jail. McCann was a known hard line member of a terror organisation that would not hesitate to kill and often did. The soldiers who were sent to Northern Ireland to keep the peace and defend the country against such criminals deserve better treatment.

Disturbingly it appears the man behind the prosecutions is a man who has worked with Sinn Fein leaders gerry Adams and Martin Guinness in the past and himself had a role in securing the deal for former IRA members to avoid prosecution. This reeks of double standards and hypocrisy.

The Daily Mail reports

In his role as Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr McGrory is the man behind the decision to bring charges against the pair.

Since taking on the public position, he has already stood down from at least six cases due to a 'conflict of interest', according to The Telegraph.

While practicing privately, he represented Mr McGuinness during the Bloody Sunday inquiry, when it was wrongly alleged the Northern Irish Deputy First Minister was the IRA gunman. 

The fact that McGrory has previously had "conflicts of interests" is very telling. One rule for for the IRA another for our soldiers it would seem.

I cannot imagine what it would be like to be sent as a young man to a difficult and long running conflict between two entrenched communities where the IRA has bombed and murdered so many people. Now that at least peace has been achieved with just a handful of recalcitrants holding out surely the time has come to move on for all.

Our soldiers have too often been let down by the state not just in Ulster but also over Iraq where a law firm was found guilty of hiding evidence and  making bogus claims to line it's pockets. This is just not good enough.

According to the report in the Mail some 278 more security personnel still face possible prosecution. This should end now.

British soldiers risk their lives for our country and it's freedoms. They deserve better.

Stop the prosecutions now!

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