Twelfth message: Remember: 90% of murders in Troubles were committed by terrorists
There is growing speculation that the UK government is preparing to declare what will effectively be an amnesty for all killings in Northern Ireland
While it may bring relief to some, it brings nothing but pain and frustration for many others.
Such a development offers protection to perpetrators but extinguishes all hope for truth and justice for the innocent who have been wronged.
The Orange Institution fully supports the end of the vexatious prosecution of elderly military personnel who have been exposed to a cycle of re-investigations in the absence of any new or substantial evidence.
In addition, policymakers must ensure that military personnel who have lived and served at home in Northern Ireland with their colleagues in the Royal Ulster Constabulary are also protected against excessive and politically motivated investigations.
Simply put, if an individual has committed a crime, regardless of their motivation or background, they must be held accountable under the law.
However, there can be no ambiguity or stark parallels between terrorists who raised a weapon or set off a bomb with premeditated murder and destruction in mind – and those whose primary motivation was to keep the peace and serve. and protect our entire community. .
Every terrorist act was illegal and legislation aimed at drawing a line on the past will only help further to heal the actions of evil men.
We must never lose sight of the statistical fact that terrorists are responsible for 90% of all deaths and security forces 10% – many of whom were terrorists, killed while carrying out their deadly activities.
The so-called ‘peace process’ in Northern Ireland has already shaken up the notion of justice for the community of innocent victims, including the early release of convicted terrorists and fugitive secret letters.
These have already brought amnesty and new life to some of the perpetrators of the most heinous crimes in our history.
and in many Ulster homes, the widows and children of terrorist victims will not be granted such parole to their life sentences of anguish and loss.
The vast majority of murders involving 339 members of the Orange Institution have still not been elucidated, but the slightest hope that one day justice may still prevail sustains the strength and determination of the families back home.
These innocent victims, however low the likelihood of a successful outcome, must be able to maintain the hope that justice will prevail.
The Orange Institution remains committed to ensuring that the story of the unnecessary and unwarranted campaign of domestic terror waged against our country is not rewritten by those who have caused so much pain and destruction to our community.
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