Tory plan brings ‘injustice and cruelty’ to innocent families

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The father of two Catholic brothers murdered by loyalists acting for the British state has accused the British government of “blocking every avenue in getting to the truth”.

Eamon Cairns spoke out on the anniversary of the murder of his sons Gerard and Rory Cairns. The two young men who were shot dead in the living room of their home in the County Armagh village of Bleary in October 1993.

Three suspected British agents have been linked to the case, including the former leaders of the unionist paramilitary UVF, Robin Jackson and Billy Wright.

A former loyalist, Laurence Maguire has admitted he had been involved in an aborted attempt to target the family, planned by Jackson, a year earlier.

He also revealed that targeting information came from Wright and was supplied to him by members of the RUC police.

Jackson and Wright were among nine loyalists arrested after the murders but released without charge.

Since the BBC programme was broadcast, the PSNI has not contacted the family about the case.

Mr Cairns believes that British government proposals to introduce a conflict amnesty and end civil proceedings and inquests will deny his family access to justice.

“The British government have blocked every avenue in getting to the truth,” he said.

“The government has said that they are going to be bringing an end to all (investigations) and court cases against their government, so we, the Cairns family, have to face the fact that we are denied justice after all these years.”

Mr Cairns added that the government had inflicted “injustice and cruelty on innocent families”.

“There can be no such thing as ‘peace’ or reconciliation until justice is served and the truth is free.

“The right thing we ask in our heart of hearts is for England to leave our country,” he said.

British Direct Ruler Brandon Lewis said this week he is “absolutely committed” to bringing forward his amnesty proposals. Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly accused him of being “tone deaf” to victims of the conflict.

“Brandon Lewis needs to listen to the voices of victims and their families, the political parties on this island, academics, Amnesty International and the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights,” Mr Kelly said.

“There is no support for the British government’s amnesty proposals on the island of Ireland. British state forces cannot be placed above the law and above the needs of victims.

“Victims of the conflict and their families cannot be denied access to the courts in pursuit of truth and justice. The controversial amnesty proposals for state forces should be withdrawn.”

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