BBC Home > BBC News > Northern Ireland

Government 'should pay victims'

7 September 09 07:49 GMT

A man who lost his wife in an IRA bomb attack in Belfast has said all states who supported acts of terror must be held to account for their actions.

Alan McBride's wife, Sharon, and her father, John Frizell, were among nine people killed in an explosion in a Shankill Road fish shop in 1993.

Mr McBride said all governments, including the British, should have to compensate victims of terrorism.

"Questions have to be asked about who was arming the loyalists," he said.

"Other nations, including the British state, were involved in supporting acts of terror and I think that they too should be held to account.

"I think that if nations were involved in supporting acts of terror, it's only right that they should compensate the victims of that terror."

Mr McBride's comments came after Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he was setting up a dedicated Foreign Office team to assist the IRA families' victims.

"I wouldn't want this want this to be piecemeal, I want this to be right across the board, victims of violence on all sides should be compensated," Mr McBride added.

"Therefore, for me, the best way to do that would be to put the money, if it comes from Libya, into a fund and then it should be dispersed properly."

He also said people who have been proven to have had an involvement with paramilitary organisations should be made to pay compensation towards a victims' fund.

He said: "When the Assets Recovery Agency has taken assets from a known terrorist, that money should be put into a victims fund."

Related BBC sites

*