Irish Republican News · January 27, 2007
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: ‘Upside-down’ UDR victims’ fund
‘Upside-down’ UDR victims’ fund

A proposed fund for families of the Ulster Defence Regiment killed in the conflict has been criticised as offensive and one-sided.

Members of the locally-recruited British Army regiment have been blamed for a number of sectarian shootings and bombings, often in tandem with unionist paramilitary groups.

The proposed UDR fund appears in a 140-page document by the controversially-appointed Victims Commissioner Bertha McDougall.

A survivor of a loyalist gun attack in which five people died has said the fund reinforces a “hierarchy of victims”.

Mark Sykes, who survived the Sean Graham bookmakers’ shootings on Belfast’s Ormeau Road in 1992, said this was a sop to DUP demands.

“Many families find this completely offensive and consequently feel excluded - their experience at the hands of this notorious sectarian organisation not being taken into consideration at all,” Mr Sykes, a spokesman for the group Relatives for Justice, said.

“Rather than supporting victims’ and survivors’ needs across the community equally, Mrs McDougall has managed to resurrect the hierarchy of victims, reinforcing the hurt and pain of so many families affected by state violence.”

Sinn Féin general secretary Mitchel McLaughlin said all British government initiatives to date on victims had been “geared towards unionists”.

“Bertha McDougall’s recommendation that a special fund be established for UDR families underlines the reasons why her appointment was challenged and successfully challenged in the courts,” Mr McLaughlin said.

© 2007 Irish Republican News