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Docklands IRA bombing campaigner accepts OBE 'for all victims of conflict'

PUBLISHED: 17:00 22 October 2019

Lord Lieutenant Jennfier Tolhurst, Wayne Gruba, Jonathan Ganesh and Susanne Dodd. Picture: DVA

Lord Lieutenant Jennfier Tolhurst, Wayne Gruba, Jonathan Ganesh and Susanne Dodd. Picture: DVA

Archant

A campaigner has been honoured by the Queen for services to victims of terrorism.

Wayne Gruba with Jonathan Ganesh and Susanne Dodd whose father was killed in the IRA bombing of Harrods in 1983. Picture: DVAWayne Gruba with Jonathan Ganesh and Susanne Dodd whose father was killed in the IRA bombing of Harrods in 1983. Picture: DVA

Wayne Gruba was acknowledged by Her Majesty in her Birthday Honours after 23 years supporting terror victims as founder of the Docklands Victims Association (DVA).

Wayne said: "I feel immensely touched to receive this honour. However, I'm accepting this award on behalf of all the victims of conflict and all those other volunteers at the DVA who work tirelessly to help those in need."

At an award ceremony in Chelmsford, Wayne was joined by victims he has helped including Jonathan Ganesh - severely injured in the London Docklands IRA attack - and Ihsan Bashir, the brother of Inam Bashir who lost his life in the 1996 bombing.

"Wayne has made an outstanding contribution to supporting all victims of conflict. His conduct is truly exemplary as he continues to work unpaid for those in desperate need," Jonathan said.

The compassionate campaigner was appointed to the Order of the British Empire and received a British Empire Medal from Lord Lieutenant Jennifer Tolhurst on behalf of the Queen.

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Under Wayne's stewardship, the DVA set up counselling and support services for victims needing help for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health challenges.

Wayne has campaigned for the release of the Chibok schoolgirls, kidnapped from their school in Nigeria in April 2014, and for Alan Henning, an aid worker killed by the Islamic State terror group in 2013.

He fought for fairer treatment for British and Irish IRA victims after discovering American, German and French victims received compensation from earnings made from a stash of cash seized from IRA sponsor Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

Victims in the UK and Republic of Ireland received nothing despite also being left severely disabled.

Laurence Robertson MP, former chairman of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, said: "This is a very well deserved award.

"Wayne has been a huge assistance to the committee for our report into the government's shameful treatment of British victims of IRA-Libya terrorism.

"We can only hope this helps in the tireless campaign to help solve the injustice suffered by all those left injured and bereaved by Gadaffi-funded Semtex."

The government has appointed former Charities Commissioner Williams Shawcross to find a solution.

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