View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Wednesday 20 November

An overcast and very windy and cold day. We had a northerly gale all morning, with frequent showers. The mercury did not make it above 5C / 41F all day.

The Attorney General for Northern Ireland has suggested an amnesty for all the crimes committed as part of the sectarian fighting in the province before Good Friday 1998. The suggestion has met with a frosty reception, both in Ulster and in London. Some 3,500 people were killed by the various factions in the province between 1969 and 1998. The hurt of that continues to date, and will continue for a long time to come. Northern Ireland has been basically at peace since 2001, but the memories will remain. If anything, the atrocity of 9/11 had one good outcome; it showed the American backers of the IRA what terrorism actually means, and what they were sponsoring. I agree that those who have committed atrocities in Ulster should be held to account, irrespective of the passage of time. The fact that Germany established itself as a respectable nation in the aftermath of World War II does not mean that the war criminals of the Nazi era should not be brought to justice.