Northern Ireland news

Victims campaigners plan to hand-deliver letter to Downing Street

Raymon McCord said Boris Johnson was effectively telling victims and their relatives their lives don’t matter. Picture by Hugh Russell

VICTIMS campaigners plan to hand-deliver at letter to Downing Street setting out their opposition to the British government's controversial legacy proposals.

Belfast men Raymond McCord and Billy McManus will be joined by families of the victims of the 1974 IRA Birmingham pub bombings tomorrow when they hand-in the protest letter at No 10.

Mr McCord's son Raymond Jnr was killed by the UVF in 1997, while Mr McManus's father William was shot dead by the UDA in 1992 Sean Graham bookies massacre on Belfast's Ormeau Road.

They said they were outraged by proposals, outlined by Secretary of State Brandon Lewis last week, to end all Troubles-related prosecutions up to 1998.

In addition to the planned statute of limitations, the British government also plans to halt inquests and civil cases relating to the conflict.

The proposals have met with opposition from victims and survivors groups and Stormont's five main parties.

Mr McCord said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was effectively telling victims and their relatives: "Your lives don't matter".

“There were soldiers, police officers, civilians and terrorists murdered, and Boris Johnson doesn't care about one of those lives – all he cares about is protecting the British state," he told the Sunday Life.

“When it was announced, I was so disgusted I couldn't watch the news. My reaction, on a personal level, was I thought I had let my son and my family down."

Mr McCord said he was already in the process of initiating legal proceedings against the proposals.

Mr McManus also criticised the plan, which many are characterising as a de facto amnesty.

With allegations of state collusion surrounding the case, he vowed to keep campaigning.

“We've been fighting for over 25 years to get justice and truth for my father,” he said.

Mr McManus urged politicians to be steadfast in their support of victims.

“We're standing shoulder-to-shoulder to give the victims the chance of truth."

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