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26 September 2002 Edition

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Lisburn Council ignore Relatives' plea

Relatives for Justice (RFJ) spokesperson Mark Thompson has hit out at Lisburn Council, Co Antrim, which he has accused of "a shameless bias against the victims of state violence".

The council refused his group "a meagre amount" of funding at a recent meeting, while agreeing to fund a civic reception for the British Army's Royal Irish Regiment (RIR). Thompson now says RFJ will be seeking legal advice.

At a council meeting in August, a request from the RIR for a parade and a civic lunch at the council's invitation was accepted by councillors, and a funding application from RFJ was simultaneously turned down.

"We made a request for a small amount of money to aid our outreach programmes in the Lisburn and Dunmurry areas and provide a service for families from Lisburn, some of whom have suffered at the hands of the RIR," Thompson explained.

"Lisburn City is supposed to be a city for all. This incident confirms that it is clearly not a city for the victims of state violence. The lamentable decision of the council tells victims that they are not as important as the RIR."
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