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NI Troubles amnesty plan changes.

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NI Troubles amnesty plan changes.

Old 10th May 2022, 15:01
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NI Troubles amnesty plan changes.

Speaking after the speech, the DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, whose party had been opposed to the original amnesty plans, said he would have to wait to see the contents of the bill.

"I am not sure it will reflect the initial proposals," he told BBC News NI.

"I want to see does it offer the chance for innocent victims to see those who perpetrated their murderous deeds against loved ones prosecuted?
The government has come under mounting pressure from its own back benches to act quicker in order to prevent any further prosecutions of former soldiers.

The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) has yet to make decisions on 12 veterans as part of a wider legacy caseload.

There are also about 1,200 unsolved Troubles-related killings currently with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), which would take 20 years to work through.
Just a shame that's not a two way street and those wrongly given protection from prosecution are not included in that.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-61386709
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Old 10th May 2022, 19:39
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
Just a shame that's not a two way street and those wrongly given protection from prosecution are not included in that.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-61386709
Unfortunately the Good Friday Agreement had many flaws and/or overly generous/unbalanced concessions within it.

Whilst the reduction in sectarian violence and terrorism it helped usher in was and is welcome, the continued harassment of security service and military personnel, decades after 'representatives' of Republican and Unionist terrorist groups were given an amnesty, continues to be a stain on the process.

Either all parties should have been give an amnesty or none.
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Old 11th May 2022, 09:09
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I see your point Helpful Stacker, but I suppose the counter to that is that there was no equivalence between all the parties. If you believe that one side was the force of law and order and the other was terrorists, then surely the former should be held to a higher standard.

Personally, I'm uneasy with the notion of ending investigations and prosecutions of former British soldiers simply by virtue of them being former British soldiers. If crimes were committed, they need to be dealt with.
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Old 11th May 2022, 09:21
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Originally Posted by melmothtw View Post
I see your point Helpful Stacker, but I suppose the counter to that is that there was no equivalence between all the parties. If you believe that one side was the force of law and order and the other was terrorists, then surely the former should be held to a higher standard.

Personally, I'm uneasy with the notion of ending investigations and prosecutions of former British soldiers simply by virtue of them being former British soldiers. If crimes were committed, they need to be dealt with.
On both sides........ but that is no longer possible
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Old 11th May 2022, 10:36
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Personally, I'm uneasy with the notion of ending investigations and prosecutions of former British soldiers simply by virtue of them being former British soldiers. If crimes were committed, they need to be dealt with.
I'm sorry but being asked to police a terrorist war in part of your own country with one hand tied behind your back while the opposition killed and maimed many innocents - does not mean British military should be held to a higher level of account when so many of the terrorists were given a free pass.

However, constantly going back over it and opening up old wounds is less than helpful (although that is a national sport in the Province).
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Old 11th May 2022, 11:40
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Originally Posted by melmothtw View Post
I see your point Helpful Stacker, but I suppose the counter to that is that there was no equivalence between all the parties. If you believe that one side was the force of law and order and the other was terrorists, then surely the former should be held to a higher standard.

Personally, I'm uneasy with the notion of ending investigations and prosecutions of former British soldiers simply by virtue of them being former British soldiers. If crimes were committed, they need to be dealt with.
But there are many crimes that were committed during The Troubles that will never be "dealt with" by virtue of the amnesty granted to the suspects.

Yes members of the security services should and must be held to a different standard than terrorists but this shouldn't mean that they should face continued harassment from various legal teams whilst 'the other side' enjoy their retirement.

Justice is supposed to be blind but the terms of the GWA have fixed it's eyes in only one direction.

Either everyone is investigated or none are. The wounds of the conflict will never heal as long as one side continues to pick at them.
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Old 11th May 2022, 12:10
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I don't think anyone expects 'justice' from terrorists, but they do from their government, and whatever people in Northern Ireland thought of the British or vice versa, we were their government.
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Old 11th May 2022, 12:42
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I'm sorry but being asked to police a terrorist war in part of your own country with one hand tied behind your back while the opposition killed and maimed many innocents - does not mean British military should be held to a higher level of account when so many of the terrorists were given a free pass.
I'm afraid that's exactly what it does mean.
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Old 11th May 2022, 13:28
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Did you serve in NI melmothtw?
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Old 11th May 2022, 13:46
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I didn't serve in Northern Ireland, or any other theatre (I'm a journalist).

Your point?
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Old 11th May 2022, 18:03
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My point is that you might have a very different perspective had you been in the military in NI during the troubles.

Many on mainland UK had simply no idea how widespread the violence was because it rarely made the evening news there.

I was horrified how little was reported on my visits home from the Province.

We had a regular morning met and Ops brief when the NIREPs (reports of the violence) were read out - it was a daily litany of bombings, shootings, kneecappings, culvert bombs and other IEDs, mortar attacks etc etc etc.

Now imagine being a British serviceman in NI - I did 2 years there btw - constantly under threat at work or away, from targeting - we had a number of direct attacks on our helicopters in my time with some miraculous escapes and near misses.

Spend a couple of years looking over your shoulder constantly and always dropping your keys 'accidentally' to check under your car for booby traps.

I have flown in to pick up the pieces of RUC - NI policemen FFS - blown to bits by the IRA, just imagine the outcry if that happened in UK (witness the ISIS bred attacks in London. Imagine how you would feel if British bobbies were being attacked and, once in a while, managed to get a shot off in defence.

Terrorists were good at manipulating the press then, it's not a new phenomenon.

The spectre of Bloody Sunday is always rolled out when blaming British servicemen for deaths in NI but conveniently forgotten are the hundreds of innocents that died at the hands of the IRA - for which many were given a free pass.

Leave those who were serving their country in very difficult conditions alone and take your moral high ground elsewhere.
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Old 11th May 2022, 18:17
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
My point is that you might have a very different perspective had you been in the military in NI during the troubles.

Many on mainland UK had simply no idea how widespread the violence was because it rarely made the evening news there.

I was horrified how little was reported on my visits home from the Province.

We had a regular morning met and Ops brief when the NIREPs (reports of the violence) were read out - it was a daily litany of bombings, shootings, kneecappings, culvert bombs and other IEDs, mortar attacks etc etc etc.

Now imagine being a British serviceman in NI - I did 2 years there btw - constantly under threat at work or away, from targeting - we had a number of direct attacks on our helicopters in my time with some miraculous escapes and near misses.

Spend a couple of years looking over your shoulder constantly and always dropping your keys 'accidentally' to check under your car for booby traps.

I have flown in to pick up the pieces of RUC - NI policemen FFS - blown to bits by the IRA, just imagine the outcry if that happened in UK (witness the ISIS bred attacks in London. Imagine how you would feel if British bobbies were being attacked and, once in a while, managed to get a shot off in defence.

Terrorists were good at manipulating the press then, it's not a new phenomenon.

The spectre of Bloody Sunday is always rolled out when blaming British servicemen for deaths in NI but conveniently forgotten are the hundreds of innocents that died at the hands of the IRA - for which many were given a free pass.

Leave those who were serving their country in very difficult conditions alone and take your moral high ground elsewhere.
Thank you for your excellent words.

I too served in NI and wanted to respond to our melmothtw's comments but, truth be told, I would probably have been banned for some of what I wished to say.
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Old 11th May 2022, 18:38
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Not serving in Northern Ireland isn't the same as not having had experience of the Troubles. I have had to check under the car on many occasions, so do have some understanding of what it all meant and still means.

No one has forgotten the hundreds of innocent people killed, nor the British servicemen or policemen. The point I was making (and the only point) was that the British should be held to a higher standard than the terrorists, and that should include investigating any alleged crimes and prosecuting where appropriate. It shouldn't be a controversial thing to say.
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Old 11th May 2022, 19:29
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Originally Posted by melmothtw View Post
The point I was making (and the only point) was that the British should be held to a higher standard than the terrorists, and that should include investigating any alleged crimes and prosecuting where appropriate. It shouldn't be a controversial thing to say.
What shouldn't be forgotten about your only point is that its only the alleged crimes of a specific group are being investigated and, where appropriate, prosecuted.

In what other area of society would it be acceptable that only a specific group could be targeted in this way, whilst ignoring others?

Do you, at the very least, support the principle of fairness and equality in the eyes of the law?
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Old 11th May 2022, 19:39
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Absolutely I do, but it was the British government that instituted the amnesty of Republican and Loyalist paramilitaries for the sake of peace. As I've said, British soldiers aren't terrorists, and so should be held to a higher standard.

Thousands of British soldiers/airmen served in Northern Ireland without commiting any crimes. For the few that may have, these need to be investigated.

That's all.

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Old 11th May 2022, 23:46
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Melmothw
Thousands of British people lived in Northern Ireland without committing any crimes. For the few that may have, these need to be investigated.
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Old 12th May 2022, 07:53
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melmothtw - I'm not quite sure what a journalist is doing on the pages of a military aviation subset of a Professional pilots rumour network but perhaps you should be using your journalistic energy to pursue the politicians who negotiated the Good Friday agreement and allowed the free pass for the IRA murderers rather than the poor sods who the same politicians sent to do their dirty work.

When you have served your country and put your body on the line, you can criticise and demand such lofty ideals.

Until you have been shot at by people from your own country, don't pontificate about holding soldiers to a higher level of justice than those doing the killing for nothing more than personal gain and religious animosity.
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Old 12th May 2022, 08:28
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melmothtw - I'm not quite sure what a journalist is doing on the pages of a military aviation subset of a Professional pilots rumour network
I am a defence journalist with a speciality in aviation, and as such earn a living from military aircraft as much as the good folk who fly and maintain the things, and know more about them than most. I have always been quite open about my profession since joining in 2006.

Anyhow, was just offering my 'as qualified as the next person's qualified' opinion on an interesting thread of discussion. I won't intrude on your echo chamber any longer.

Last edited by melmothtw; 12th May 2022 at 08:50. Reason: Qualifying my qualified opinion, at Haraka's suggestion.
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Old 12th May 2022, 08:40
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N.B. There is a difference between an opinion and a qualified opinion
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Old 12th May 2022, 08:58
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I won't intrude on your echo chamber any longer.
Ah, there's the professional journalist at work.....................
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