Court upholds discrimination against IRA widow
Court upholds discrimination against IRA widow

The widow of an IRA man beaten to death after his prison release has lost her appeal against being denied compensation.

Anne-Marie McCallion, whose husband Peter was jailed for an ambush on British troops in Derry, was seeking to overturn a decision by the British Direct Ruler Shaun Woodward to refuse her a discretionary pay-out.

On Monday, the Court of Appeal ruled that Woodward’s decision was lawful.

Mr McCallion served a full 18-year sentence but following his release from prison he was fatally injured during a confrontation in the city. It was claimed that making a payment to his widow under the normal compensation arrangements “would not be in the public interest”.

Mrs McCallion was denied access to the normal criminal injuries compensation scheme because of what was described as “the seriousness of her husband’s crimes”.

Mrs McCallion said her family were “being punished” for his conviction.

“It’s made me very angry, it’s like Peter is being tried over and over again.

“There was no justice for his death and now the children are paying again for his conviction.

“He did his time and had started his life over before he died.”

Meanwhile, Peter Robinson has dismissed the proposals of a British truth panel for addressing the legacy of the past conflict.

Robinson accused former Church of Ireland primate Robin Eames and former Policing Board vice-chairman Denis Bradley of “engaging in an exercise in moral equivalence and ambivalence”.

Mr Robinson said yesterday that the British government must not attempt to implement the report of the Consultative Group on the Past. Among its suggestions for “dealing with the past” is a proposal for a 12,000 pound payment to the bereaved relatives of the conflict.

This was the “most reprehensible” recommendation, said Mr Robinson. He said there could be no “equivalance” between “dead terrorists” and “innocent victims”.

“The DUP is continuing to work towards a definition of a victim which is not morally ambivalent or invites private interpretation or spin. The authors ask the rest of us to deny what we know and hold to be true, and instead collude in an exercise of moral equivalence, not to say moral ambivalence. That we will not do and cannot support,” said Mr Robinson.

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