Victims of the Docklands IRA bomb have reached a significant milestone in their 19-year fight for recognition of the suffering they have endured.
The Docklands Victims Association have secured a public inquiry which will look into the consequences for those affected by Libyan-sponsored IRA.
A cross-party Westminster committee will look into the possibility of compensation for the victims of the IRA’s bomb in South Quay, which killed two and seriously injured 40 others in 1996, the year in which the DVA was launched.
DVA leader Jonathan Ganesh said: “We have been fighting for this for years – no-one was interested in listening to us, but The Wharf did and then the story went around the world.
“Can you imagine what this means to us? I never wanted to give up. If you know you’re fighting for an injustice you cannot give up.”
Members of the DVA and many other UK nationals affected by IRA violence, are seeking compensation from Libya after its former ruler Muammar Gaddafi supplied weaponry and explosives to the IRA. Many of the victims suffered life-changing injuries and live with the consequences to this day.
The DVA argues that it is unfair that American citizens received compensation from Libya, yet they have not.
It is believed compensation could be obtained from Libya through frozen assets belonging to the late dictator who was killed in 2011.
Mr Ganesh said: “This inquiry is needed and will be welcome throughout the UK. Hopefully we can finally get answers over what happened that day and get fair compensation for UK victims.
“The inquiry has been long overdue. We felt abandoned by our Government, we felt that American lives mattered more than ours, but I believe everyone is equal.
“It’s the people of the Docklands who should feel proud of themselves for how hard they’ve fought for this. Many of them are still living with the consequences of that day.”
The inquiry is due for September and will be held by the House of Commons Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, which is likely to call figures from the UK Government.
The committee – which is made up of four Conservative backbenchers, three Labour MPs, two from the DUP and one each from the UUP and SDLP and an Independent – will produce a report containing recommendations for action, but these are not binding on the Government.