Canary Wharf IRA bombing survivors meet officials to talk compensation plans
PUBLISHED: 18:29 21 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:35 22 August 2018
Victims of the 1996 Canary Wharf bombing today (Tuesday) met with the Northern Ireland Office to discuss compensation plans for affected by the Troubles.
The Docklands Victims Association (DVA) — set up following the blast that killed two people and injured more than 100, some permanently — said it “discussed a number of issues” with commissioner Judith Thompson of the Commission for Victims and Survivors in Northern Ireland.
The campaigners say a proposed discriminatory pension scheme for victims of the Troubles based in Northern Ireland will not be available for those in the rest of UK or the Republic of Ireland.
The group also argue their own consultation found “a vast number” of victims have taken, or tried to take, their own lives. Current plans would exclude victims with mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder, they say.
DVA president Jonathan Ganesh, who was severely injured in the Docklands bombing, said: “We have presented her with our initial report and have raised a number of concerns today with the commissioner as a result of our findings.”
Ihsan Bashir, whose brother Inam was killed in the IRA attack, said he was “very pleased” the commissioner met with the group.
“I hope she will use her position to ensure all victims of the IRA are treated equally,” he added.
DVA members have also sent their findings to prime minister Theresa May, the Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar and Irish president Michael D Higgins.
Other concerns raised to the public consultation include why the US, French and German governments have secured compensation for their citizens from Libya, who supplied the Semtex explosives used in the 1996 bombing, while London has not.
This was an “appalling lack of equality”, said Susanne Dodd, daughter of a police officer killed in the 1983 Harrods bombing.
A UK Government spokesman previously told the Advertiser NIO officials are “grateful to receive” the DVA representatives’ views, which “will be considered carefully”.
“The UK government wants to hear the views of all people affected by the Troubles, including many from outside Northern Ireland whose lives have been affected,” he added.