Northern Ireland conflict: London plans amnesty

The British government is planning another amnesty for those accused of crimes related to the Northern Ireland conflict. A statute of limitations would mean that former soldiers and ex-IRA members could no longer be prosecuted. A number of those convicted of crimes were already released in Northern Ireland in 1998. The new regulation would also to apply to the British mainland. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson explained that the goal was to "draw a line" under the conflict.

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The Irish Independent (IE) /

Mocking the victims

The Irish Independent opposes London's initiative:

“The sense of grievance is shared by relatives on both sides of the divide. Murdered loved ones' lives ruthlessly cut short and endless heartbreak cannot be neatly swept under history's carpet as mere 'legacy issues'. Yet for some - politicians, military and paramilitaries - hoping to seal off shameful secrets that might expose grievous wrongs, it is an act of irresistible expediency. Survivors can only regard it as another indefensible act of injustice.”

The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

The only chance to move on

The planned amnesty will help all parties in Northern Ireland to come to terms with this conflict, The Daily Telegraph writes in praise:

“This is not an easy matter and the anguish still felt by many families is never going away. Though the passage of time does not make the losses any easier, Boris Johnson is surely right to say that the province has to try to move on. The alternative is to continue with forlorn efforts to secure convictions until all those associated with the dark days of the Troubles are dead. ... No one pretends this is the perfect approach but those who oppose it need to offer a realistic alternative.”