British Government Apology Insufficient

17th July 02 – “British Government Apology Insufficient”

Following yesterday’s statement by the IRA, Relatives For Justice has
received several requests from the media regarding its position vis à
vis an apology from the British government for its actions during the
conflict. In light of this Relatives for Justice has released the
following statement. Relatives for Justice group member Kate Duffy said:

“An apology from the British government in respect of its actions during
the conflict would be completely insufficient for our membership.

“The British Government have always maintained that the actions of their
forces were completely justifiable. A fact demonstrated by the impunity
provided through their investigative procedures and judicial system. So
what would they be apologising for? An apology in the absence of
acknowledgement, recognition and acceptance of full culpability for its
illegal actions that contravened international standards of human rights
would be meaningless.

For the victims of state and state sponsored violence it is much more
reprehensible and repugnant that a government which has a sworn duty to
uphold the law and protect its citizens was actively engaged in plotting
and taking the lives of its citizens, whilst at the same time covering
it up and protecting the perpetrators.

“Any apology from the British government should be preceded by the steps
outlined above and would be a final act as opposed to a first or only

“In the north of Ireland 3,646 people have lost their lives as a result
of the conflict. 363 people have died directly as a result of actions
perpetrated by the RUC and the British Army – 75 of whom were children.
The overwhelming majority of those killed posed absolutely no threat
whatsoever – they were unarmed when killed. Almost 200 were civilians
and a
proportionately high number of the overall deaths have occurred in
highly controversial and disputed circumstances where there is evidence
of a shoot-to-kill policy. 89% of those killed directly by the State
were from the nationalist / republican community. Thousands more have
been injured.

“Only four serving members of the British Army went to prison serving a
total of 15 years and 3 months. All were subsequently released
significantly early into their sentences and reinstated back into their
regiments, two were promoted. No RUC members were ever sentenced to

“Additionally, Loyalist paramilitaries have claimed the lives of 1051
people. Many of these killings occurring in circumstances where there
exists clear and irrefutable evidence of collusion by the RUC / British

“It is the issues of accountability, truth and justice that are
paramount for all those affected by State and State sponsored violence
at this point in time.”

Editor’s Note: Kate Duffy’s brother Seamus Cassidy was shot dead on 28th
July 1972 by a British army sniper as he sat in his car unarmed, next
week marks the 30th anniversary of his murder. Her 15 year old child
Seamus Duffy was murdered by the RUC on 9th August 1989.