Special pleading for British soldiers will not be tolerated, says Sinn Féin justice spokesman Raymond McCartney

Bloody Sunday.
Bloody Sunday.

Special pleading for former British soldiers who killed Irish citizens in Derry and elsewhere in Ireland during the conflict will not be tolerated, according to the Sinn Féin justice spokesperson Raymond McCartney.

Mr. McCartney said his party would oppose any attempt to introduce an amnesty for British forces suspected of having been involved in atrocities over the past 50 years.

He was speaking after Tory MP Johnny Mercer wrote a letter to the British Prime Minister Theresa May calling on her to bring forward legislation that would attempt to introduce an amnesty for British forces who committed crimes in the North and other military conflicts.

Mr. Mercer, an MP for Plymouth, the largest naval base in Britain, speaking in the House of Commons last week specifically mentioned the pending prosecution of 'Soldier F' for his alleged role in the events of Bloody Sunday in 1972, and 'Soldier B' for his alleged role in the murder of 15-year-old Derry schoolboy Daniel Hegarty during Operation Motorman later that year.

His comments were followed by the British Defence Secretary and MP for Portmouth, another city with a huge naval base, Penny Mordaunt, stating that it was her "personal priority" that members of the British Army would not be "pursued unfairly".

Mr. McCartney said: “Any attempt to introduce an amnesty for British forces who killed Irish citizens would totally undermine the proposed new legacy mechanisms agreed at Stormont House.

“No one is above the law, all victims and survivors should have the same access to processes of truth and justice, there can be no immunity or impunity for British forces guilty of crime, collusion and murder in Ireland.

“The mechanisms agreed at Stormont House by the five main parties and the two governments must be implemented in human rights compliant manner enabling legislation that would meet the needs of families."

“Sinn Féin will continue to support the families in their pursuit of truth and justice.”