July 2019- Soldier F

July 2019- Soldier F

Thank you to those who have contacted me about the decision by the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland to prosecute a soldier F for the alleged murders of James Wray and William McKinney and the alleged attempted murders of Joseph Friel, Michael Quinn, Joe Mahon and Patrick O’Donnell.

I want to begin by repeating that which can never be said too many times: this Government will always salute the heroism and bravery of the soldiers and police officers who fought and died to protect the people of Northern Ireland and to uphold democracy and the rule of law. It is only due to the courageous efforts of our security forces that we have the relative peace and stability that Northern Ireland enjoys today.

The welfare of our former service personnel is of the utmost importance and the Government will offer full legal and pastoral support to the individual affected by the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland’s decision. This includes funding all his legal costs and providing welfare support. The MOD is working across Government to drive through a new package of safeguards to ensure our armed forces are not unfairly treated.

The Government recognises that the system to investigate the past needs to change to provide better outcomes for victims and survivors of the Troubles and to ensure that our Armed Forces and police officers are not unfairly treated.

That is why across Government work is being undertaken on proposals on how to best move forward and the Northern Ireland Office is carefully considering the responses to the consultation on this issue – publishing its next steps in due course.