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The Explainer: Why does the British government want to stop Troubles prosecutions?

David Blevins of Sky News joins us for this week’s episode.
Jul 22nd 2021, 3:55 PM 8,076 0

IT WAS A decision that many people are unhappy with – the announcement by Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis that a statute of limitations is to be brought on Troubles prosecutions.

The statute would apply to military veterans as well as ex-paramilitaries, and would mean that those responsible for deaths during the Troubles could go unpunished.

People from across the many communities affected by the Troubles have spoken out about their upset over the decision, particularly families who lost loved ones at the hands of others. 

Though British PM Boris Johnson said that it would mean that Northern Ireland could “draw a line under the Troubles”, the Irish Government and victims’ and survivors’ groups are among those who have spoken out against it. 

Sandra Peake, chief executive of the Wave Trauma Centre, said it “removes the glimmer of hope” from victims seeking justice.

 This week, Stormont MLAs even rejected the plan, backing a non-binding motion denouncing the proposal. 

So, what is this all about – what does it mean and what are people saying about it? To answer these questions and more, we’re joined this week on The Explainer by Sky News Senior Ireland correspondent David Blevins. 

Based in Belfast, Blevins is a hugely experienced reporter on Northern Ireland issues, having held this role since 1996. He has reported on major issues such as the Good Friday Agreement, the decommissioning of IRA weapons, and of course Brexit. 

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Source: The Explainer/SoundCloud

This episode was put together by presenter Sinéad O’Carroll, producers Aoife Barry and Nicky Ryan.

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