Farry welcomes victims’ pension judgement but says issue should never have had to go to court

Alliance Deputy Leader Stephen Farry MP has welcomed a High Court judgement saying the Executive Office is acting unlawfully by delaying the introduction of a pension for victims of the Troubles, but added the issue should never have had to go to court.

Dr Farry was speaking after Mr Justice McAlinden made the ruling on the delay to the compensation scheme, which had been approved by Westminster earlier this year. He said a number of questions and challenges relating to the scheme remained.

“I welcome this judgement and hope it brings some reassurance to victims, who have gone through so much turmoil to simply try and get what they are entitled to,” he said.

“I hope this will now allow for progress to be made but there remains a lot of work to be done, particularly in relation to which Department will administer the scheme and who will fund it. Naomi Long has been clear the Department of Justice is willing to take this forward if the finances are provided. Regardless of which department is designated, the Executive need to work collectively to ensure agreement with the NIO on funding is achieved as soon as possible.

“This case should never have had to make it as far as court. It is disgraceful victims needed to go so far to achieve another step on their journey towards getting what they are entitled to. Today is  another stage closer to that goal.”