Troubles Victims: Pension

Part of Matter of the Day – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 10:45 am on 26th May 2020.

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Photo of Pat Catney Pat Catney Social Democratic and Labour Party 10:45 am, 26th May 2020

I am ashamed, in a way, to be here debating this today. Again, I go back — I do not want to go on with you — to when I was very young and had a small public house on Donegall Quay in Belfast. In that bar, I saw every atrocity that happened, every customer who lost their mum, their dad or other loved one or was hurt, damaged or injured. When I look back, I look back not at dates but at the faces of those families. I was lucky and feel privileged to have grown up in Moira. I worked in a little bar there called the Four Trees, and I remember, among those early atrocities, there was a Sergeant Brown, God rest him, who was murdered in Rostrevor. As a young man, I found myself walking behind that coffin, and so many more have I walked behind since.

Folks, I do not care where this comes from. We need to get a solution, and the victims need to be paid. No more crocodile tears, and no more playing politics. Just do the right thing. My colleague Mike mentioned the bomb in the Abercorn; no one of my vintage could forget that. There are all these tragedies, whether it is a father, mother, brother or sister locking up a pub, a business or a shop late at night and being assassinated simply because they chose to do something else in their spare time or to try the best they could to bring the community together. Folks, we are making great progress. This needs to be launched. It needs to be delivered, and it needs to be delivered now.