Interviews from those whose lives were affected by the Troubles.
Alan McBride Alan lost his wife and father-in-law in the Shankill bomb in October 1993, murdered by the IRA.
“I’ve been hurt and damaged, I’ve lost my wife, I’ve lost my father-in-law, my daughter has lost a mother, So we’ve definitively suffered, there’s absolutely no doubt about that. In terms of a question about how you define a victim, a survivor, obviously someone from my circumstances would fit very easily into the category, it’s probably less clear cut the further out you go, particularly when you actually get into the whole realm of perpetrators and their perpetrators, victims and survivors and my attitude to that is that, in some sense they are, because I don’t believe they would have been involved in the things they were involved in had they lived elsewhere in the UK, but to actually put them on the same page as someone like myself I think is wrong.”
Raymond McCord Raymond lost his son in 1997, murdered by UVF.
“We’re all victims, I didn’t see any victims on the Malone Road or Helens Bay or Crawfordsburn during the years of the Troubles, it was a working class thing, working class people from the protestant side and the catholic side, killing each other.”
Robert McClenaghan Robert lost his grandfather in 1971, murdered by the UVF.
“The day that our grandfather was murdered in McGurk’s Bar, that set us on a journey, we didn’t want to go on that journey, it was bad enough trying to deal with men, women and children being murdered by the UVF, but then to be told by the media, by politicians, by the police, by the army that your grandfather, instead of being a 75 year old man who was going out for a pint of Guinness, that he was some sort of IRA bomber, it was a slur on his name and the rest of the people who were murdered at McGurk’s.”
Willie Frazer Willie lost his father in 1975, murdered by the IRA.
“I wish I could wake up in the morning and living is okay in this country, where we are no longer living under a threat, but you see the problem is the threat has not been removed from our head, there’s still a threat out there, that until the Republicans achieve their goal they’ve still got the right to use violence.”
Raymond McCord “If the politicians would do their jobs and fight for victims, I wouldn’t need to criticise the police. The criticism that I’ve given towards the security forces particularly the police was justified, I had to go to the head of Sinn Féin to ask for help, I had to go down to Dublin to speak with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland, Bertie Ahern, to seek help, I had to meet the head of the Irish Labour Party, Pat Rabbitte, who raised the case in the Dáil. People who believe in a United Ireland. I had to go to those people for help, because my so called “own” turned their back, and what they did was turn their back on justice, and they turned their back on the truth.”
Willie Frazer “I know we have to move on from the hurt but it doesn’t mean the hurt is going to go away, it’s not going to go away, but we have to learn how to deal with it, and no better people to tell you how to deal with it are the people who are actually affected by it. For too long, too many people have been telling us what we must do and that we must move on and put the past behind us. It’s not as simple as that. People have to realise we can’t leave the past behind us, we have to bring the past with us and learn from it.”
Robert McClenaghan “For thirty six, almost thirty seven years now our family has been trying to get at the truth, we’ve been blocked at every single avenue and what we have learnt over those years is, we can’t depend on the Prosecution Service, we can’t depend on any of the state agencies to give us that truth.”
Alan McBride “The whole issue around truth commissions is, I think, a very complex issue and I think when people talk about truth commissions they invariably talk about the South African model almost as if it’s the only model that exists. Those that work in the sector that have done research know that’s not the case, there’s been around thirty or forty truth commissions happening around the world.”