UK IRA victims have told a public inquiry they felt completely ignored and let down by the Government in their fight for compensation.
The Northern Ireland Select Committee, which could put pressure on ministers, heard about the personal impact of bombing attacks carried out by the terrorist group using Semtex acquired from Libya.
The victims said they were not just looking for compensation, but also recognition of their suffering.
The president of the Docklands Victim Association Jonathan Ganesh spoke at the committee, where he and other victims revealed neither Tony Blair or current prime minister David Cameron had agreed to meet them.
Libya’s late dictator Colonel Muammer Gaddafi the plastic explosive Semtex to IRA terrorists, which was used in the terrorist attacks at South Quay near Canary Wharf, Harrods, the Baltic Exchange, Warrington, Manchester and Enniskillen, among many others.
Before he was killed Gaddafi acknowledged the suffering of the American, French and German IRA victims under the Libya Claim Resolution Act 2008 but refused to help UK IRA victims due to lack of backing from the British Government.
UK and Irish victims are therefore hoping the select committee can put the pressure on to release a percentage of Gaddafi’s seized assets to be used for compensation.
The Government has refused to disclose the amount that was seized, but in evidence given by Matthew Jury and Jason McCue, who are representing the victims, Mr McCue said a source had said it was estimated at £900million.
Barrie Halliday, from Families Acting For Innocent Relatives, said: “It’s not just standing up for victims, it’s standing up for society.
“What sort of message does that send to civilians, but also to other terrorists organisations?
“It makes it seem our Government doesn’t care about us. It seems they were more interested in looking after the interests of the terrorists – they should be looking after the people who have been affected.”
Mr McCue said British and Irish victims had been “completely let down” and that Tony Blair’s administration was more interested in oil, money and creating a link with Libya than civilians.
The committee also heard a number of times that Libyan officials backed the claim for compensation from the seized cash but, without UK Government backing, using it that way wasn’t possible.
Aileen Quinton, whose mother Alberta Quinton was killed in the Poppy Day Massacre in Enniskillen in 1987, said: “(Because of this) we feel more banded with the Libyans than to our own Government.”
Mr Ganesh said: “It’s fundamentally wrong to say yes we will help you, but we won’t help you – it’s not justice.”
Mr Ganesh said he felt positive after giving evidence on Wednesday, September 9 at The Palace of Westminster.
“It went better than I had imagined,” he said.
“The committee seemed very sympathetic and keen to try to make some change.
“Now we want Tony Blair to be called to answer our questions, which the chair of the committee Laurence Robertson has said the committee hadn’t ruled out.”