Northern Ireland

MP says government 'allowed IRA terrorism to go on'

Rioting

A DUP MP has claimed that successive British governments allowed IRA terrorism to go on for 30 years without determining to defeat them.

The claim was made by the South Antrim MP Willie McCrea during a debate in Westminster about victims of the Troubles.

Mr McCrea said many relatives in NI were looking for closure and wanted truth and justice to emerge.

The DUP MP read out the names of a number of people who died in Troubles.

In response, the Northern Ireland Office Minister Hugo Swire said the government was working in conjunction with the Executive on how to deal with the legacy of the past.

He confirmed that following the Saville Inquiry the government would not support the establishment of long running and expensive inquiries.

Mr McCrea claimed the recent Saville Inquiry created a hierarchy of victims and said many families felt their plight had been ignored.

"So many questions are left in the hearts of others unanswered.

"Why did our loved ones have to die?

"No-one can understand the nightmare the people of Northern Ireland have been through," he said.

"Terrorised in our kitchens and bedrooms, terrorised walking the streets, or worshipping in our churches.

"Leaving your children in the morning never knowing whether or not you would see them again.

"We lived through this. This was reality."

He said many families were still waiting for closure.

Sinn Fein MLA Francie Molloy said the DUP have failed to bring forward any proposals to effectively dealing with the past.

"Instead they have sought to politicise the issue and seek to create a hierarchy of victims through a change to the definition.

"So rather than playing to the gallery in Westminster it would suit Willie McCrea better if he actually engaged on the issue of truth recovery and came at it with the needs of victims at the centre rather than internal DUP politics."

More on this story