Ten Years On – the GB Legacy of the Troubles
November 5, 2013 | Nick Taylor
Tuesday 5th November, marked the tenth anniversary since the launch of ‘The Legacy’ – a study of the needs of GB victims and Survivors of the Northern Ireland ‘Troubles.’
This ground-breaking study and report described a needs analysis of victims of the Northern Ireland troubles who live in Great Britain.
The death toll of GB residents resulting from the ‘Troubles’ is estimated at over 600. In Great Britain itself 125 deaths have occurred and there have been over 2000 injuries as a result of paramilitary activity.
Many more people have been affected including relatives, friends and colleagues of the dead and injured, witnesses of incidents, those who have been psychologically affected, and members of the emergency services.
Research in Northern Ireland on the impact of the ‘Troubles’ has highlighted the psychological impact of bombing and other stressors, highlighting the incidence of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other related psychiatric conditions such as anxiety and depression.
Prior to ‘The Legacy’ there has been no such analysis relating to GB victims. The report was launched in the House of Commons on 5th November 2003 and heralded the start of the Survivors for Peace programme delivered from the international Peace Centre in Warrington, Cheshire and set up in memory of Tim Parry and Johnathan Ball, killed by the IRA in an attack in 1993.
The work continues and many of the recommendations of the report still hold true. The Foundation continues to seek funding for this vital work and has recently made a submission on behalf of GB victims, and based on The Legacy, to The Panel of Parties in the NI Executive.
The Panel is an independently-chaired body, created in July 2013, to address obstacles that are frustrating the movement to a society based on equality of opportunity, good relations, and reconciliation. Chaired by Ambassador Richard N. Haass, and vice chair, Meghan L. O’Sullivan, it is seeking to propose a way forward to consider parades and protests; flags, symbols and emblems, and related matters; and the past.
Earlier this week, Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt and party colleague Roy Beggs submitted a motion calling on the Northern Ireland Assembly to recognise the high prevalence of poor mental health in Northern Ireland and that “violence has been a distinctive cause”.
The motion also: “Acknowledges that trauma is one of the most hidden legacy issues of the Troubles; accepts the need to support and restore good mental health for people with difficulties; and called on the Northern Ireland Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety to support the creation of a new International Mental Health Centre for Northern Ireland that would be a world-class facility for all.”
The motion was passed.
The Foundation for Peace is the only GB based organisation tackling such issues directly related to ‘The Legacy’ and is making calls to the British Government, Northern Ireland Assembly and Republic of Ireland Government to support vital and ongoing work to deal with the past and create a lasting peace.
The Foundation team will be visiting London, Belfast and Dublin over the coming weeks to further the case for support.
The Legacy – Learning from the Past – Creating a better future.