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Wednesday, September 1, 1999 Published at 05:38 GMT 06:38 UK

UK: Northern Ireland

Protestant victims 'ignored' - Paisley

Ian Paisley: "Government doesn't want to know Protestant victims"

The government's treatment of the victims of terrorism in Northern Ireland has been branded as "scandalous" by the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, Ian Paisley.

Dr Paisley was speaking while attending a conference in Portadown, Co Armagh to highlight the plight of the victims of terrorism and the relatives of those killed during the Troubles.

"These happen to be victims who are largely Protestant victims - the government doesn't want to know them," he claimed.

One woman whose husband was killed by terrorists 27 years ago said that she had been ignored since his murder.

[ image: Irene Bell:grateful for platform for victims and relatives]
Irene Bell:grateful for platform for victims and relatives
"Since 1972 after I had the police and the undertaker, I had no support from any government agency or from anybody else in Northern Ireland," said Irene Bell.

The conference has been organised by the pressure group Families Acting for Innocent Relatives (FAIR) which represents families who have lost relatives to terrorism in south Armagh.

The group is holding the event to highlight what it sees as a lack of government help and recognition for victims.

Message to government

Conference organisers want to send a clear message to government that victims' views are more important than those of terrorists.

FAIR spokesman William Frazer said they are frustrated by the current situation.

He said: "There is no law and order in this country, there is no democracy in this country and the other thing we want to highlight, that we think is most important is, there is no justice in this country.

"So if we are going to live in that sort of system, where are we going to end up and for the sake of peace?

"We have paid the price for peace," he said.

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