Glorification of terrorism is retraumatising victims: Dodds

Speaking during the debate in the House of Lords on the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill, DUP Peer Lord Dodds highlighted the need for action to be taken against those who continue to glorify terrorism and the need for effective legislation to tackle it.

By The Rt Hon Lord Dodds of Duncairn OBE Peer

During the course of his remarks he said,

We should pay tribute to the innocent victims of terrorism, murder and mayhem in Northern Ireland over many years. We should pay tribute to their enormous tenacity and fortitude in the face of what has been happening in recent days in Northern Ireland, with the continuing eulogy and glorification of murderers and criminals by elected representatives, including those who purport to be the First Minister “for all”.

It should not be acceptable in general terms that political representatives of the IRA and Sinn Féin, including the potential First Minister or anyone else, and especially people who have taken advantage of this system, should go around the country, not doing enough to fall foul of the “glorification of terrorism” legislation but doing enormous harm psychologically to victims and their families by their continuing commemoration, eulogising and glorification of the perpetrators of some of the most heinous criminal and obscene acts that we have seen anywhere over the last 30 years. The purpose of our amendments is to address that point and to urge that the Government do something about it. It is not only causing trauma to victims and retraumatising their families but is toxifying the political atmosphere in Northern Ireland as people try to get the Assembly up and running again.

So I have to say that these are real, practical problems and this causes immense damage and hurt to victims. Indeed, right across the spectrum of people in Northern Ireland, people are appalled at this kind of behaviour, yet it is allowed to happen. Imagine if the Prime Minister of any civilised country anywhere in the world was running around, being present at and organising eulogies and commemorations of criminals and murderers. It really does not bear thinking about, but that is the reality of what we face.”

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