Trevor Ringland touts a "competing narrative" where "families whose loved ones were brutally murdered at Loughinisland" stop questioning collusion because victims' families and constabulary "both wanted the same outcome".(July 1st) How could constabulary arresting the journalists who named killers be the same outcome as arresting the loyalist killers themselves? The legacy crisis exists because families want facts not British fairy tale narratives about the murder of their loved ones.
Mr. Ringland mischaracterizes the issue as a dispute between those who think "violence outside the law was justified" and their opponents. He implies families of nationalist victims do not go to British crown courts, ombudsmen or investigatory bodies, seeking justice for murdered loved ones, but want some sort of justification for Republican armed struggle between 1968-98. He seems unable or unwilling to face the real question at the heart of the crisis.
Did violence within British law, mean British troopers, constabulary and loyalist agents were permitted to carry out or collude in murders, which the state legal machinery then justified, or simply would not prosecute the murderers?
Mr. Ringland cites Loughinisland. The film No Stone Unturned named and filmed suspects, and revealed that besides DNA evidence available from the recovered car, weapons, and clothing, the wife of one of the loyalist gunmen telephoned and wrote, confessing her role and naming the gunmen.
No one was charged except the filmmakers. Why should these families not suspect collusion or conclude that no prosecutions despite so much evidence, meant the loyalist killers were being protected by crown forces?
The legacy backlog worsens, 22 years post Good Friday Agreement, because nationalist victims' families must fight to get truth from inquest courts(Ballymurphy) ombudsmen(Loughinisland), or historical investigations (Glenanne). It exists because British officials deny and delay the quest for truth with legal roadblocks, apparently hoping, that relatives will be frustrated, die off or give up.
Today, instead of truth mechanisms they agreed 5 years ago at Stormont House, the British plan to create an "independent body" which many fear will be used as a magic wand to make hundreds of cases disappear, by repeating the words "no new compelling evidence and realistic prospect of prosecution."
If Britain did not fear legacy truth why do they go to such lengths to bury it?