Covid-19 Service Notice

In line with Government policy on Covid-19, Ulster Human Rights Watch (UHRW) is postponing their Victims of Terrorism Council (VTC) meeting planned for 26 March 2020 and advise its clients when it will be rescheduled.

However, victims will continue to be supported by UHRW during the health crisis. These measures are being put in place to protect victims, many of whom already suffer from health issues as a result of the ‘Troubles’

Axel Schmidt, UHRW Advocacy Manager said “During these unprecedented times, it is vital that we observe Government policy in an effort to reduce the spread of Covid-19. While we cannot visit our clients, I wish to assure them that we are at the end of the phone if they require any assistance.”

Although individual visits to victims’ homes and meetings at UHRW offices in Brownlow House, Lurgan, are temporarily suspended, UHRW will still offer advocacy and support services to those who need it.

UHRW will still represent victims and keep in touch by phone on 028 3834 4500, text, email, mail and twitter. Any updates will be posted on the UHRW website.

UHRW Conference hailed as success

UHRW held its strategic planning conference at Brownlow House on Thursday 27 February 2020, to support development of a client led work plan for the advocacy service until 2023. This event, hosted by Ray Hayden, considered points raised at a previous meeting, alongside reports on current work by Jonathan Larner, and the forthright rejection by UHRW of the legacy bodies proposed under the Stormont House Agreement by Axel Schmidt.

Further sessions were held under the titles of restitution for the past, recording the past, remembering the past, and reinvestigating the past. These were a presentation on the upcoming payment scheme for seriously injured, by Advocacy Manager Axel Schmidt, highlighting characteristics of the scheme, the exclusion clauses for terrorists, and our work with the NIO in the consultation process.

After lunch an overview of the work of PRONI and our Legacy of the Past Record project was delivered by Wesley Geddis of PRONI, with a personal testimony of loss by victim of IRA terrorism Mary McCurrie. We are very thankful to Charlie Bennett for an informative presentation on the Ulster Defence Regiment, in which the sacrifices of the UDR for the cause of peace were remembered.

The event closed with D/Supt. Stephen Wright of Legacy Investigation Branch explaining the activities and processes of LIB and fielding a range of questions from delegates. We are thankful to all who took part and were present to make the event a success.

La Mon Remembered

Some of the relatives of those who perished in the La Mon atrocity forty-two years ago gathered at a Commemoration at the Island Civic Centre in Lisburn on Monday.
In a brief but moving ceremony, flowers were laid at the La Mon Commemorative Seat by Jim Mills whose wife, Carol, and sister, Sandra, perished in the inferno.
The names of the twelve victims were read by the Deputy Mayor, Cllr. Johnny McCarthy, followed by two minutes silence.
Inside the Council offices, Axel Schmidt, Advocacy Manager with Ulster Human Rights Watch, read from Scripture and led the group in prayers.
Mr Schmidt said afterwards: “It is important that we remember the innocent lives that were lost to terrorism during the thirty years of the ’Troubles’. Twelve people were murdered at La Mon and their loved ones will never forget the horror or pain of that unspeakable act. We remembered the victims in this the forty second anniversary and to acknowledge the pain and anguish that is still felt today.”
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