Wednesday, January 11, 2006



Democracy has prevailed The controversial On-The-Run legislation has been scrapped!

What a glorious day this is. A triumph of the people. A triumph of democracy.

Mr Hain told MPs Sinn Féin’s decision late last month to oppose the Bill because security force personnel would also have qualified for the scheme had rendered the legislation meaningless.

"Sinn Féin has now said that any republican potentially covered by the legislation should have nothing to do with it," the minister said.

"But if nobody goes through the process, victims, who would have suffered the pain of having to come to terms with this legislation, would have had done so for nothing.

"That is unacceptable and I am therefore withdrawing the Bill."

Victims and human rights groups, the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, unionists, nationalist SDLP and the cross community Alliance Party condemned the legislation for failing to compel those accused of offences to face their victims during the tribunal hearings.

The SDLP and Sinn Féin also criticised the inclusion of security force personnel involved in murders carried out by loyalist paramilitary groups in the scheme.

But Mr Hain defended their inclusion in his statement.

"Mr Speaker, to exclude any members of the security forces who might have been involved in such offences from the provisions of the Bill would not only have been illogical, it would have been indefensible and we would not do it," the Northern Ireland Secretary insisted.

"Closure on the past cannot be one sided. That was, and is, non-negotiable."

Cut out the lies, Hain. No amnesty can ever be granted to the British state which murdered innocent Irish civilians. No amnesty should ever be granted to killers.

When Sinn Féin jumped on the bandwagon and decided to oppose the bill, those of us who opposed the plan had won the battle. Now that the bill has been confined to the scrapheap, we have won the war!

United Irelander and El Blogador were two Irish blogs which worked dilligently to show people how evil and sinister this OTR legislation really was and I think I can speak for them when I say that this feels like a personal victory.

I'm personally very pleased to see the British government come to its senses and ditch this bill.

It was not supported by the people and it would have been undemocratic to proceed with it.

This is a great day for the people of Ireland.


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