THE PARACHUTE REGIMENTAL ASSOCIATION
On 1st October 2018, The Parachute Regimental Association (PRA) submitted a reply to the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) consultation paper: Addressing the Legacy of Northern Ireland’s Past. One of the main proposals of the NIO paper called for a new inquiry team to look into legacy deaths related to ‘The Troubles’. The Historical Investigations Unit (HIU) would be responsible for investigating the remaining 1,700 deaths that occurred between 1968 and 1998. The intention would be to investigate these cases within a 5-year time frame, in order to draw a line under these legacy issues. Some 350 of these cases involved members of the Security Forces. Despite protestations by Members of Parliament (MPs) from all parties, the Government plans to move forward with these proposals and will vote on a White Paper to enact these changes shortly.
Recently, 150 Conservative MPs and Peers wrote a letter to the Prime Minister, encouraging her to put an end to these potential prosecutions. The letter to the Prime Minister was partially prompted by constituents writing to their MPs, to complain about the prosecution of veterans who served in Northern Ireland. With the matter to be subject to questions in Parliament on 22 May (Wednesday next week), we feel that it is important that all MPs are made aware of how unhappy members of the Parachute Regimental Association are with the current situation. Therefore, given the imminent debate in Parliament, the Executive Committee of the PRA believe that it would be helpful if Association members were to write to their MPs, in order to register their dissatisfaction.
As many of the PRA membership do not write regularly to their MPs, the following format may be of some assistance:
Dear Mr***/Mrs***/Ms*** (or title if appropriate),
As (a veteran) and (one of your constituents), I am writing to register my unhappiness with the continued threat of legal action against veterans, who served during ‘The Troubles’ in Northern Ireland. The process is unsatisfactory and the proposed legislation, referred to in the proposed Northern Ireland Office White Paper, gives no hope of change to the threat of legal action against former members of the Security Forces and makes a mockery of the Military Covenant.
I have enclosed the recent Parachute Regimental Association submission to the NIO Consultation, which sets out the Association’s position with which I am in firm agreement and which I understand is shared by many individuals who served in Northern Ireland. It also provides the context at the time and the scale of sacrifice made by the Security Forces during the period.
I would like you to represent my gravest concerns about this matter to the Secretary of State for Defence at the earliest opportunity.
A. The Parachute Regimental Association Submission.
This email has been checked for viruses by AVG antivirus software.