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The image of the Reavey brothers projected onto Parliament Amnesty International/PA
The Troubles

Victims’ images projected on Parliament as UK Government urged to scrap Troubles legacy Bill

The controversial legislation is set to return to the UK Parliament this week.

IMAGES OF VICTIMS of the Troubles have been projected onto the Houses of Parliament ahead of the expected passing of the UK Government’s controversial legacy Bill.

Amnesty International and some victims have made a late plea for the UK Government to scrap the legislation which includes a form of limited immunity for some perpetrators of crimes committed during the conflict.

The Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill is set to return to the House of Lords tomorrow.

The proposed legislation would also prevent future civil cases and inquests into Troubles offences.

All of the main political parties in the North, the Irish Government and victims’ groups are opposed to the Bill.

At the weekend, Amnesty projected the images of some victims who have still to receive justice.

These include Majella O’Hare, who was shot dead by a British soldier in County Armagh when she was 12 years old; Tom Oliver, a 43-year-old farmer who was murdered by the IRA; and the three Reavey brothers – aged between 17 and 24 – who were killed by the Loyalist Glenanne Gang.

Majella’s brother Michael O’Hare said: “I want Parliament and everyone to see my sister and pay attention to the many people being denied truth and justice.

featureimage Majella O’Hare’s image was projected onto the Houses of Parliament at the weekend N N

“Lasting peace and reconciliation can only come when victims are prioritised and there is an agreed way forward.

“Majella’s life mattered and accountability for her killing and the many other crimes committed during the conflict also matters.

“Shame on the Government ignoring victims and the many others who reject this Bill.

“This is a final call to them: do not let us down – drop the Troubles Bill.”

Grainne Teggart, Amnesty’s Northern Ireland deputy director, said: “This is a hugely significant week for the legacy of the Northern Ireland conflict and victims’ rights as the UK Government recklessly pursues a Bill that only it supports.

embedded264351813 Grainne Teggart of Amnesty International Brian Lawless / PA Brian Lawless / PA / PA

“We are on the cusp of seeing universally opposed legislation passed which not only betrays victims but also provides a blueprint for human rights abusers all over the world.

“The projection on Parliament shows the faces of some of the victims whose families are being bitterly let down by the UK Government.

“It is a timely and critical reminder that it is the victims, not perpetrators of serious crimes, who should be prioritised.”

She added: “Amnesty is making a final call to the UK Government to scrap the Bill – and if the Troubles Bill becomes law, the Irish Government must immediately challenge it by bringing an inter-state case to the European Court of Human Rights.”

Meanwhile, a number of families of Troubles victims will travel to Westminster to witness the Bill pass its final stages.

They include campaigner Raymond McCord, whose son Raymond Junior was murdered by Loyalist paramilitaries in 1997.

embedded269055870 Prominent victims’ campaigner Raymond McCord is to travel to Westminster this week

He said: “Our cross-community victims’ group the Truth and Justice Movement will be in the public galleries of the House of Lords and the House of Commons.

“Let us not forget this Bill has been rejected by victims groups, every political party in Ireland, every political party in the UK (except the Conservatives), every political party in the EU, every political party in America and also the United Nations.”

The Northern Ireland Office has been contacted for a response.

Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris has previously said the the Bill provides the best opportunity for the families of Troubles victims who have gone decades without any information, to receive answers about what happened to their loved ones.

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