Appeal to Executive and Secretary of State to sort out Victims’ Pensions

Ulster Human Rights Watch is appealing to the Northern Ireland Executive and the Secretary of State to end the stand-off over who pays for the long-delayed Victims’ Pension Scheme.

Both sides meet today and UHRW says it hopes they will agree a path that will see payments being made to innocent victims of terrorism.

UHRW Advocacy Manager, Axel Schmidt, said: “This scheme should have been in operation since May last year and it is a shocking state of affairs that victims of terrorism are still waiting for what they are entitled to.

“To innocent victims, many of whom have life-changing conditions inflicted by terrorists, it matters little whether the pension is paid by Belfast or London. Many are in financial need and this scheme represents a badly needed lifeline.

“Our appeal to the Executive Ministers and the Secretary of State, Brandon Lewis MP as they sit down today is to leave no stone unturned in their search for a satisfactory outcome.

“Victims of terrorism are not political pawns and shouldn’t be treated like this. They deserve decency and acknowledgement that they have suffered enough. It’s up to our politicians to sort out who has responsibility for funding what is, after all, a national scheme.

“Victims have seen false dawns before and we must now hope that the posturing is over and agreement finally reached to ensure the scheme is effectively implemented.”

La Mon Hotel Bombing Commemoration

On behalf of the relatives of those who perished and were seriously injured in the La Mon Hotel terrorist atrocity forty-three years ago, a bouquet of flowers was laid at the La Mon Commemorative Seat at the Island Civic Centre in Lisburn on Wednesday 17 February 2021.

Due to the on-going restrictions as a result of COVID-19, no commemoration service was held, but the victims were remembered this year as every other year.

It is important to remember the victims and to acknowledge the pain and anguish that is still felt today and has been heightened because of present circumstances.


Court of Appeal Ruling removes final obstacle to victims’ pensions

The victims’ campaign group, Ulster Human Rights Watch (UHRW), has said the ruling by the Court of Appeal on a Victims’ Payment Scheme removes the last remaining obstacle to pensions being paid.

The Court of Appeal said the Executive had a legal duty to fund the scheme. It has given the parties four weeks to find a solution.

UHRW Advocacy Manager, Axel Schmidt, said: “This is a watershed ruling and one we most warmly welcome.

“The way this issue has been batted back and forth by the Northern Ireland Executive and the Government has been shameful.

“The absence of provision in the Draft Budget announced by the Finance Minister meant the stalemate would continue over who should fund the scheme – London or Belfast.

“Today, this ruling sweeps away the last remaining obstacle to the commencement of the scheme. There is no hiding place for either parties or Government to go to. The Finance Minister and his colleagues in the Executive have been told they have a legal duty to fund the long overdue scheme.

“For almost a year, innocent victims of terrorism have watched as the squabbling over who should pay and who should qualify was played out. The delay is callous and cold-hearted.

“The message today is to get on with the job and give some solace to innocent victims of terrorism who, frankly, deserve better treatment.”

Search the site