NI Troubles bill rejected by everyone – Baroness O’Loan

NI Troubles bill rejected by everyone – Baroness O’Loan Baroness Nuala O’Loan.

A new bill aimed at addressing the legacy of the Troubles in the North of Ireland deprives victims of their fundamental rights, according to a member of the House of Lords.

Baroness Nuala O’Loan, former Police Ombudsman of Northern Ireland, has condemned what she calls the “ludicrously named” Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill.

The bill has been roundly rejected by everyone in the North, she said, and has only been welcomed by “a very small group of military veterans who want no further prosecutions”.

“There is no expectation or acceptance that the new bill will bring reconciliation. Such is the power of the current British government that it will be enormously difficult to prevent even the most egregious elements of the bill becoming law,” she said.

Baroness O’Loan warned that if it is passed “there will be no right to a prosecution of a murder, although it will be possible to prosecute a serious sexual offence. What sort of country permits prosecution or Troubles related sexual offences, even attempted sexual offences, but not Troubles related murders?”

“There will be no possibility of suing in the civil courts those who planted the bombs or planned and executed the atrocities. There will be no right to an inquest into Troubles murders. There are still people whose loved ones were murdered who never heard anything after the murder – no update, no inquest, no prosecution,” she said.

This comes after Baroness O’Loan attended a Mass on Saturday in Oristown, Co. Meath, commemorating the families of the Disappeared – people who were abducted and murdered by the IRA. The bodies of three of those who were killed in this circumstance were found in Oristown.

She said: “The pain of the families is palpable but they have such dignity and courage and their support for one another is constant.”

At the Mass, Bishop Tom Deenihan appealed for anyone with information relating to the Disappeared to come forward.

He said: “It is important to point out that this appeal is not about justice or retribution. An independent Commission for the Location of Victims Remains has been established. This commission is independent of police and courts.  My appeal tonight is not based on retribution or even justice but is based on compassion, decency and, simply, doing the right and honourable thing.”


Read Baroness Nuala O’Loan’s full article on Britain’s failure to bring justice to victims of the Troubles here.