07/06/2012

Row Over 'IRA' Victim's Forum Appointment

Unionist politicians have attacked the appointment of an ex-IRA suspect to a victims' forum.

TUV leader Jim Allister said the appointment of Eibhlin Glenholmes was "monstrous".

Glenholmes was wanted in Britain in the 1980s for alleged murder and firearms-related offences, but was released by an Irish court after warrants for her arrest were proved defective.

For a time, she was known as the most-wanted woman in Britain, but she was never convicted of any terrorist charges.

She returned to Belfast in the peace process years, joined Sinn Fein and now works with republican ex-prisoners project Tar Anall.

She has now been appointed to the Forum for Victims and Survivors, a 25-member advisory body selected by the Victims and Survivors' Commission.

Mr Allister told the Belfast Telegraph: "I'm utterly disgusted. I think it's a monstrous appointment. The organisation which she was long associated with made those people victims."

But victims commissioner Bertha McDougall said it was important to reflect as wide a range of perspectives as possible.

Mrs McDougall, whose police officer husband was killed by republicans in 1981, told the Irish Independent: "It is about making sure that there is a range of experience of the conflict. That is where we are coming from."

She asked people to wait for the full membership list but said they could pass concerns to the Victims and Survivors Service.

She said: "I think when people look at the forum as a whole, they will, I hope, see people who have comparable experience to their own."

(NE)

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