Government says we must investigate northern ireland killings _ daily mail online

No 10 faced claims of hypocrisy today after insisting investigations into killings by British soldiers in Northern Ireland are vital to safeguard the Peace Process but at the same time insisting Iraq veterans should not be hounded.

MPs and military chiefs last night condemned the ‘disgraceful’ decision by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) to re-examine every single British Army killing during the Troubles.

But the Prime Minister’s official spokeswoman defended the investigations today, insisting: ‘It is important that we deal with the legacy issues if we want to really achieve reconciliation in Northern Ireland and move forward.

‘And as part of the Stormont House agreement there are provisions to establish historical investigations unit – we do think it is important that we find a way forward to deal with some of the impracticable issues that there has been over the years that successive attempts have failed to deliver.’

But answering questions seconds earlier about the disgrace of British troops who faced accusations of war crimes for carrying out their duties in Iraq, the spokeswoman reiterated Theresa May’s pledge that Britain’s forces would be protected from such witch-hunts.


The spokeswoman said: ’We’ve been very clear of the steps the Government will take to make sure that our brave soldiers should not be hounded unnecessarily and the investigations into allegations around Iraq should be properly focused and completed in the most efficient way possible.

‘Our focus has been on making sure that we bring an end as quickly as possible to any unnecessary investigations and I think we have taken steps to do that and the Prime Minister has worked very closely with the Secretary of State for Defence on that and they have a similar mind about these issues.’

Faced with claims of hypocrisy, No 10 denied there was a contradiction between how soldiers who served in Northern Ireland and Iraq were treated.

The PSNI’s taxpayer-funded Legacy Investigation Branch is to look at 238 ‘fatal incidents’ involving the Army in Ulster, which led to 302 deaths.

It will mean UK veterans being investigated as potential murder or manslaughter suspects over actions they took decades ago at the height of the IRA’s terrorist campaign.

The Northern Ireland veterans could face new charges, trials and even jail. The observatory griffith park Ironically, the new inquiry was announced on the day that the human rights lawyer who led the hounding of British troops who fought in the Iraq War faced disgrace. Map of griffith park Phil Shiner admitted drumming up the claims against soldiers.

Although the Northern Ireland review will also look at deaths that the IRA were responsible for, many suspected terrorists have been granted pardons or ‘comfort letters’ intended to protect them against prosecution.

At the Conservative Party Conference in October, the Prime Minister had promised to protect British troops from witch-hunts. Griffith park trails map She said: ‘We will never again – in any future conflict – let those activist Left-wing human rights lawyers harangue and harass the bravest of the brave, the men and women of our Armed Forces.’

But asked how this position was consistent with the ongoing investigations into killings by soldiers in Northern Ireland, the spokeswoman said: ‘The Government has been very clear that it is important that we deal with the legacy issues if we want to really achieve reconciliation in Northern Ireland and move forward.

‘And as part of the Stormont House agreement there are provisions to establish historical investigations unit – we do think it is important that we find a way forward to deal with some of the impracticable issues that there has been over the years that successive attempts have failed to deliver.’

But there was fury yesterday at the news that hundreds of elderly UK veterans – many suffering serious illnesses – will be put through another ordeal.

MPs and military chiefs compared the treatment of British soldiers to that of suspected IRA bomber John Downey, who escaped prosecution for the 1982 Hyde Park bombing, which left four soldiers and seven horses dead, because he was given a police guarantee he was immune from prosecution. Bronson canyon griffith park los angeles ca Downey has always denied involvement and pleaded not guilty at the Old Bailey in 2014.

Escaped from HMP Brixton in 1991 using a gun hidden in a shoe, and shot a passerby. Griffith park 4th of july He was awaiting trial over a suspected IRA assassination plot. Hotels near griffith park observatory Arrested in Ireland for firearms offences in 1993, Quinlivan was jailed for four years. Griffith park movies He was freed in 1996 as part of the early release programme and successfully fought extradition attempts in 2000, arguing he would have been freed by July 2001 under terms of the Belfast Agreement.

Convicted of the murder of Maze prison deputy governor Albert Miles, who was shot dead in front of his wife, Artt escaped in 1983 during the mass IRA breakout. Griffith park hiking trails After fleeing to the US, he was caught by FBI agents in 1992. Griffith park elevation Avoided extradition to the UK after the US ruled that his claims of unfair conviction in Northern Ireland must be investigated before sending him back.

Escaped prosecution for the 1982 Hyde Park bombing which left four Household Cavalry soldiers and seven horses dead because he was given a guarantee he was immune from prosecution. Griffith park night hike Now living freely in a waterfront cottage in Donegal.

JOHN DOWNEY: Escaped prosecution for the 1982 Hyde Park bombing which left four Household Cavalry soldiers and seven horses dead because he was given a guarantee he was immune from prosecution

Tory MP Johnny Mercer, a former Army officer who has campaigned on behalf of British troops, said: ‘This is a witch-hunt, as well as total and complete betrayal by the Government of those who have done its bidding.

‘If we could demonstrate in Government just some of the courage our Armed Forces have displayed over the years in Northern Ireland, the entire historical allegations money machine would end.’

A former serving member of 14 Intelligence Company who served for nine years during the Troubles added: ‘You cannot have a normal life. Griffith park wildlife My wife is very conscious of it because she has a husband who has this hanging over him. Griffith park jobs Peace should not be one-sided and this has become solely about the Armed Forces who stood between the evil IRA and the British public they were trying to burn alive.’

Downing Street also intervened, saying the Police Service of Northern Ireland was wrong to focus ‘almost entirely’ on the past actions of the security services when looking at the Troubles.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman added: ‘It is important to recognise that the overwhelming majority of those who served in Northern Ireland did so with great bravery and distinction.’

Last night, the PSNI insisted that its Legacy Investigation Branch was reviewing every one of the 3,200 deaths during the Troubles, including those murdered by Republican terrorists.

The force said it was also reviewing the cases of 187 on-the-run paramilitary suspects who received ‘comfort letters’ – dubbed ‘get-out-of-jail-free cards’ – mistakenly saying they were not wanted by police.

The number of British soldiers set to be probed is understood to be about 850. Griffith park 4730 crystal springs dr los angeles ca 90027 This is because many times several soldiers opened fire at once during shootings.

Of the 302 people killed by the British Army, about half were IRA or Loyalist terrorists, while the others were considered tragic accidents such as civilians caught in the crossfire.

Sir Hugh Orde set up the PSNI’s Historical Enquiries Team in 2006, when he was chief constable of the force, to review every death during the Troubles. Griffith park playground It aimed to bring closure to those who had lost loved ones in the strife

Any leads were passed to a specialist unit for investigation. Griffith park cafe But the unit, staffed by expensive retired police officers from the mainland, was disbanded in 2013 following budget cuts and a critical report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary.

Chief Constable Matt Baggott, then head of the PSNI, replaced the HET with the in-house Legacy Investigation Branch. Griffith park ca Because of concerns over the quality of the military reviews, these killings were re-examined.

One ex-British soldier, ex-Warrant Officer (Class 1) Dennis Hutchings, 75, has already been charged with attempted murder after a probe into the fatal shooting of an IRA suspect – later found to be innocent – in 1974.