01/09/2017 – We commend Syrian Civil Defence (The White Helmets)

Kenny Donaldson, Spokesman for Innocent Victims United stated: “Right has prevailed, our campaign in collaboration with individual innocent victims and survivors of terrorism has prevailed. To all those innocent victims and survivors of terrorism who spoke out and relayed their deep concerns when Martin McGuinness was first shortlisted for the Award, we commend you”.
“Let’s be clear; the winners of the Award The Syrian Defence (White Helmets) exist to save and preserve life, Martin McGuinness commanded a terrorist organisation that stole the lives of its’ neighbours Protestant, Roman Catholic and Dissenter”.
“And throughout his ‘political’ contribution in Sinn Fein  (including the latter period of his life when he was Deputy First Minister) Martin McGuinness never publicly acknowledged the illegitimacy and wrong of that terrorist campaign, rather he and his colleagues continued to engage in terrorism idolatry”.
“Irrespective of the grievances (real or perceived) felt by Martin McGuinness or others within this Society, there was never justification for the use of terrorism or criminal violence in the pursuance of or defence of a political objective”.
“We at IVU salute the genuine Peace efforts of the Syrian Civil Defence (White Helmets) they are worthy winners,” concluded Mr Donaldson.
See previous coverage on the issue:

09/09/2017 – Tom Oliver’s murder does matter

Kenny Donaldson, Spokesman for Innocent Victims United stated: “Gerry Adams has once again demonstrated his blatant disregard for the rule of law. To suggest that the pursuance of those who murdered Tom Oliver would be “totally and absolutely counterproductive” intimates that perhaps Mr Adams is in possession of knowledge as to who his murderers are”.

“Is it once again a case Mr Adams of protecting the firm at all costs? Does the ‘ourselves alone’ mantra forever prevail? That the PROVOS alone are entitled to be beyond reproach and accountability for their criminal actions? That you and colleagues are content enough for non PROVO Republicans to be pursued and prosecuted (such as Gerry McGeough and Seamus Kearney) and those bad Brits and Loyalists but not your ‘soldiers?’

“We don’t live in the world of the PROVO green book and constitution, Mr Adams and his Deputies and MLA’s in Northern Ireland have committed themselves in words to the legitimate law of both jurisdictions, actions must now follow and Mr Adams must begin by apologising for his latest callous remarks to a family robbed of their loved one. He must then commit unequivocally to provide assitance to the reopened case”.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Oliver family at this time and all are innocents still denied Justice, Truth and Accountability,” concluded Mr Donaldson.

29/08/2017 – Not my role to adjudicate but to represent victims

Your (the Belfast Telegraph) columnist Ruth Dudley Edwards, of whom I have huge admiration for down the years as a writer challenged me in her Opinion column published in the Monday 28th August 2017 Edition to acknowledge that “Sean O’Callaghan’s remorse was utterly genuine and that he deserves to be remembered in charity and forgiveness”.

First of all I would like to acknowledge that Ruth as a personal friend of Sean O’Callaghan will feel that she had a better insight into the man than most of the rest of us and I am sorry for the sense of loss that she will be feeling at this time.

Ruth Dudley Edwards has stated that I doubt Sean O’Callaghan’s remorse, that is not the case as I was not giving my own personal opinion in the initial comments issued. But for what it’s worth my personal view (not judgement) on Sean O’Callaghan is that I acknowledge that he provided support to a number of families who are seeking answers into events which led to the murder of their loved ones and I also acknowledge that in going back into the heart of the Provisional IRA and reporting to the Republic of Ireland State that he was risking his own life.

Furthermore I acknowledge that he has also been a critic of the Provisional Movement and its’ leadership over the last two plus decades.

I also am mindful on a human level that the O’Callaghan family and his circle of friends will be grieving his loss at his time.

But I also believe that he was willingly used in the run up to the 1998 Belfast Agreement as a means of softening unionist attitudes, he was held up as an example of the contrition which a former terrorist can show and that he was somehow representative of those who carried out such deeds against their neighbours, the time which has elapsed has proven that Sean O’Callaghan (if his conversion was wholly genuine) was more so the exception than the rule.

I’m afraid that I am not in a position to do what Ruth requests – that I acknowledge Ruth Dudley Edwards has stated that I doubt Sean O’Callaghan’s remorse, that is not the case as I was not giving my own personal opinion in the initial comments issued. But for what it’s worth my personal view (not judgement) on Sean O’Callaghan is that I acknowledge that he provided support to a number of families who are seeking answers into events which led to the murder of their loved ones and I also acknowledge that in going back into the heart of the Provisional IRA and reporting to the Republic of Ireland State that he was risking his own life.

Furthermore I acknowledge that he has also been a critic of the Provisional Movement and its’ leadership over the last two plus decades.

I also am mindful on a human level that the O’Callaghan family and his circle of friends will be grieving his loss at his time.

But I also believe that he was willingly used in the run up to the 1998 Belfast Agreement as a means of softening unionist attitudes, he was held up as an example of the contrition which a former terrorist can show and that he was somehow representative of those who carried out such deeds against their neighbours, the time which has elapsed has proven that Sean O’Callaghan (if his conversion was wholly genuine) was more so the exception than the rule.

What Ruth Dudley Edwards asks that I do I am not in a position to do. Firstly I am not God and I do not know the sincerity or otherwise of Sean’s heart (In fact I never met the man) and secondly, my role is not to adjudicate but rather is to represent victims and their perspectives and feelings.

I have to say this and I do so unashamedly, when Sean O’Callaghan passed away last week my first thoughts and considerations were with the two families of those whom he confessed to murdering – UDR Greenfinch soldier Eva Martin (whose surviving family I know) and also the family of Peter Flanagan (who was an RUC Detective)

The questions I posed within the comments I gave are not my questions, those questions are questions which his victims sought answers to. Providing an account within an Autobiographical publication which is then sold in bookstores does not do justice to the needs of the families concerned.

There will be people who would seek to place myself and Ruth Dudley Edwards at loggerheads on this issue but that would be to diminish the actual debate that isn’t being had. Why is the weight of expectation forever upon the shoulders of the innocent to forgive those who have wronged them? Why is there no call from the great and the good to encourage remorse, repentance and restitutive acts from the terrorists and those who committed criminal acts? And if there is a genuine conversion within such individuals, then the onus is upon them to do what they can to atone for their wrongs.

Each and every one of us in life commits wrong, I too have committed wrong and must account for it and carry it with me. Some will feel that Sean O’Callaghan did what he could to atone for his sins, could he have done more by those he directly wronged?

The reality is that whatever atonement we commit to, we cannot live life backwards, the wrong we commit continues to in part define us, Eva and Peter (and possibly others) never had the chance to live their lives as was intended, those lives were stolen and for the families concerned, they must still carry that grief and loss.

Those within Society who have not had their flesh and blood stolen from them as a result of the so-called ‘Troubles,’ when neighbour dehumanised neighbour need to understand the perspective and needs of the innocent and prioritise them.

29/08/2017 – Never Forget the Innocent Victims

Kenny Donaldson, Spokesman for Innocent Victims United stated: “The passing of Sean OCallaghan will bring a variety of responses – first we acknowledge the paina nd grief of his family, PROVOS and many other Republicans will rejoice because they hated him, in PROVO law, informing was viewed as the deepest form of treason”.

“Many from a broadly unionist background never fully trusted him or his proclaimed conversion and saw him through eyes of cynicism – that he was used as an example of the Republican Movement’s remorse for the past and the opportunity for a new way forward – via The Belfast Agreement. If his remorse was genuine then he has been proven to have been more so the exception and certainly not the rule”.

“And there are others still who will speak favourably of Sean OCallaghan and his latter life commitment to expose the lies and evils of a Terror Movement to which he once gave his oath of allegiance”.

Mr Donaldson added: “For IVU our core concern is with the families of UDR Greenfinch soldier Eva Martin and Special Branch Detective Peter Flanagan who Sean OCallaghan himself admitted to having murdered. The reality is that neither Eva nor Peter can be brought back, their lives were stolen and their families were left broken and irreversibly changed”.

“Eva and Peter had no opportunity to live out their lives, that choice was taken away from them. Was Sean OCallaghan genuinely remorseful for the grievous harms he caused to their families and most probably many others? Did he repent for his crimes and sins and did he publicly and privately seek to restitute for the wrongs he inflicted? Those are all questions that only he and God our creator know the answer to”.

“Over the coming days many journalists, pundits, politicians and others will express their view on Sean OCallaghan – in all that commentary please do not forget Sean OCallaghan‘s victims – the innocents who are the real heroes and martyrs within this Society,” concluded Mr Donaldson.

Ruth Dudley’s response: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/news-analysis/ruth-dudley-edwards-how-my-dear-friend-sean-ocallaghan-showed-the-true-meaning-of-redemption-36074342.html

12/09/2017 – Totally inappropriate to legalise RHC

Kenny Donaldson, Spokesman for Innocent Victims United stated: “As a group which represents innocent victims and survivors of terrorism and ‘other Troubles related criminal violence’ our first concern is with the innocents and their families whose lives were stolen and/or damaged as a result of the terrorist and criminal actions of the RHC”.

“There are sentiments within the statement which are to be welcomed however the core request to have the organisation de-proscribed by the Government is not appropriate. The Red Hand Commando complete with the UVF carried out murder and other acts of terrorism and criminality within this Society, they did so upon their neighbours and their motivation was certainly never for God and we question what benefit if ever had to Ulster either”.

“For God and Ulster” is the mantra which belongs to the border people of this land, those who refused to bring to their neighbour’s door that which had been brought to theirs’, it is not the property of a terrorist organisation who now seek political absolution for their crimes”.

“In previous political agreements, the main proscribed organisations committed to disappearing, of going out of business and of ceasing all forms of terror and criminality, this is what they must do and their personnel must continue (or begin in some cases) the journey of restitution, doing what they can to put back into this Society. We do not believe that the terror names IRA, UVF/RHC, INLA, UDA etc should ever become legalised, they must be remembered in history for what they were – organisations of oppression with ideologies which encouraged and indeed demanded one neighbour to murder another”.

14/09/2017 – A dereliction of duty and responsibility

Kenny Donaldson, Spokesman for Innocent Victims United stated: “The UK Government’s dismissive response to the NIAC Report into Gaddafi/PIRA terrorism and the issue of compensation for innocent victims as relayed today typifies the approach of the UK Government on these issues – innocent victims are nothing more than collateral damage”.

“The UK Government stands alone in its’s dereliction of duty to its’ own citizens who have been so grievously impacted by Gaddafi-sponsored PIRA terrorism. Other Nation States (including Germany and the U.S) have not treated their innocents with such contempt.”.

“Effectively what the UK State are saying is: we’re prepared to keep providing tea and biccies and offer patronising sympathy but when it comes to standing by victim’s rights and unashamedly pursuing their legitimate grievances, we are opting out”.

“This position is the position of cowardice and is both politically and morally indefensible”.

“The UK Government repeatedly pushes its’ chest out when terror attacks happen, there is the pomp and ceremony, there are the strong and well crafted words of repudiation of that terrorism and violence at the time but what happens after for those left devastated? The answer is .. very little”.

Mr Donaldson added: “As things stand the UK Government has also treated The Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee with utter disdain, their detailed Inquiry and the resultant report has been consigned to the dustbin”.

“The UK Government believes that the problem will just go away when the first generation of innocent victims of terrorism die, how callous a position is this to adopt? The Prime Minister has a duty to lead. On the matter of terrorism, there is no leading being done, the UK is a soft touch for terrorism and to compound that fact, the UK Government treats its’ innocent victims as pariahs”.

“Innocent victims and survivors of Gadaffi-sponsored PIRA terrorism are today contacting our office and are asking the question; where does the DUP stand on this? Was this issue not part of their understanding with the Tories? Had they prior knowledge of the Government’s position or are they also blindsided by today’s response by the Government?”

“Today we also received an Invitation via email (as will others) from The FCOs’ Libyan Reconciliation Unit and Alister Burt, (Minister for the Middle East and North Africa) inviting us to attend a meeting to discuss the “latest developments in Libya and the Government’s response to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee report”. Unless the UK Government is prepared to proactively advocate on behalf of its’ own citizens and their legitimate claims, what’s the point of a further talking shop?” concluded Mr Donaldson.

24/06/2017 – Terrorism idolatry has no place within our Society

Kenny Donaldson, Spokesman for Innocent Victims United: “We hold a consistent policy in opposing terrorism and criminal violence irrespective as to who the perpetrators are, by extension we are also consistent in our opposition to showing of terrorism idolatry or glorification. The crude poster erected in Moygashel to deceased terrorist Wesley Somerville of the UVF is an example of terrorism idolatry”.

“We at IVU acknowledge and recognise that families will grieve and have an absolute right to remember a loved one irrespective of the circumstances in which that individual died or lost their life”.

“But what we will not accept nor endorse are public showings of terrorism idolatry. The Miami Showband attack which resulted in three members of the band being murdered including Brian McCoy (a Protestant from Caledon, County Tyrone just a small distance away) was a cowardly and depraved action. The fact that two members of a terrorist organisation also lost their lives in that attack is not something to be either celebrated or commemorated – it simply should not have happened. There was zero legitimacy for the Miami Showband attack and that is the case for all terror crimes perpetrated by the UVF, PIRA and their sister organisations”. Continue reading “24/06/2017 – Terrorism idolatry has no place within our Society”

26/04/2017 – Report is ambiguous and open to multiple interpretations – IVU

Kenny Donaldson, Spokesman for Innocent Victims United stated: “The Report is ambiguous to say the least, the languages used are open to multiple interpretations. IVU has a clear stance on terrorism and criminal violence – where there can be proven to be a premeditated intent to take human life (minus terrorists being killed whilst in the midst of an offensive action) all such crimes must be treated consistently”. Continue reading “26/04/2017 – Report is ambiguous and open to multiple interpretations – IVU”

12/06/2016 – IVU responds to panel report on Paramilitarism

Innocent Victims United, the largest umbrella organisation for innocent victims and survivors of terrorism and other Troubles related violence, with 23 member groups across N.I, RoI and GB has given its’ response to the Fresh Start Panel’s Report on the Disbandment of Paramilitary Groups in Northern Ireland.

In a statement Spokemsan Kenny Donaldson said: “We have taken time to consider the contents of the report inclusive of the recommendations made by the panel members. We do not question any member’s personal integrity nor their desire to contribute positively to the issues at hand however it requires saying that there are also harsh realities which the report fails to address, issues concerning the presence and active status of PIRA and also how this Society is to be re-balanced where the rights of victims trump the rights of terrorists and criminals, described by officialdom as paramilitaries”. Continue reading “12/06/2016 – IVU responds to panel report on Paramilitarism”

17/05/2016 – RoI Accuses UK of Collusion

Kenny Donaldson, Spokesman for Innocent Victims United stated: “We support the Dublin and Monaghan families in their quest to secure justice, truth and accountability in the same way as all other innocent victims of terrorism. Dublin-Monaghan was an unjustifiable act of terrorism. The RoI State in committing to the action of supporting an International Judge to access British held files on Dublin-Monaghan must now step up and deal with unanswered questions that only they can answer”.

“If appointed, this International Judge should also examine the Irish cabinet’s role in splitting PIRA off from OIRA through the procuring of weaponry, provision of finance and training. This Judge must also examine a plethora of cases in South Armagh, Castlederg and South and West Fermanagh where there is a raft of intelligence in existence which links collaborators working within the Irish Defence Forces with the Provisional IRA”.

“We expect to now hear the UK Government make this case on behalf of the border communities of Northern Ireland who bore the brunt of collaboration and inept security and extradition  policies which actively facilitated the scourge of terrorism to grow like a cancer”.

“Enough is enough – innocent victims of collaborative terrorism committed by PIRA with the assistance of individual members of the Irish Defence Forces aswell as former members of that State’s Government must be held account,” concluded Mr Donaldson.