IRISH campaigners will protest against the British Government’s controversial Legacy Act in Westminster this month.
On Thursday, January 25, the Terence MacSwiney Commemoration Committee will hold their 52nd anniversary vigil to remember the victims of the Bloody Sunday massacre, which took place in Derry on January 30, 1972.
Held outside parliament, the vigil will also serve as a protest against legislation which recently came into effect that does away with investigations and inquests into crimes that took place during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
The Legacy Act, which became law in September, sees those who co-operate with the new Independent Commission for Reconciliation & Information Recovery (ICRIR) granted immunity from prosecution over Troubles-era cases.
It has been criticised by the leaders of all political parties in the North and in the Republic.
In December, Tanaisté Micheál Martin confirmed that the Irish Government has launched a legal challenge to the Legacy Act.
Announcing the inter-State case under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), Mr Martin said Britain’s unilateral pursuit of the much-criticised legislation “left us only this legal avenue”.
This month protestors will gather in Westminster to share their concern over the legislation, with the Terence MacSwiney Commemoration Committee stating: “We welcome the decision made by the Irish Government to take legal action against the British Government in response to this shameful legislation.”
Sinn Féin MP John Finucane has also reiterated his support for the Irish Government’s decision to take an interstate case against the legislation.
“The British Tory government rushed through this legislation despite the clear opposition and concerns raised by victims and families, all political parties on the island of Ireland, the Irish Government, the US, UN, the Council of Europe and human rights experts,” the North Belfast MP said this week.
“This cruel and shameful Act is a flagrant breach of international human rights law and is a blatant attempt to shut the door on families’ efforts to achieve truth and justice through the courts,” he added.
“The British government’s aim was not to act in the interests of victims and families, rather in the interests of British state forces involved in the murder of, and serious human rights violations against, Irish citizens,” Mr Finucane stated.
“Heartbroken families have been fighting for years, determined to get truth and justice for their loved ones.
“They should not have been forced to take individual legal actions against this Act, and this action by the government will now complement these challenges.
“We will stand with those families as they challenge this cruel and cynical law, and as they continue to campaign with dignity and determination for truth and justice.”
The Terence MacSwiney Commemoration Committee vigil will take place at 1pm on Thursday, January 25 at Parliament Square in Westminster.