Needs of Troubles victims ‘overlooked’ (UTV)
A campaign group has presented a petition at Stormont on Thursday calling for more support after a report revealed a shortfall in services for thousands of people physically injured as a result of the Troubles.
Around 10,000 people put their signature to the document as part of the Campaign for Recognition of the Injured given to politicians the same day that research provided a first ever estimate of the number of people physically affected by the Troubles.
The WAVE Trauma Centre commissioned the report which reveals that many of those damaged in bomb and gun attacks are now experiencing deteriorating health.
Jennifer McNern lost both her legs in the Abercorn bombing in Belfast in 1972. She said the compensation she received at the time was “mediocre in the extreme”.
“You will find that the majority of people who are injured were injured in the 1970s and 80s. They are now in their 50s and 60s and approaching pension age and living off the state pension. They have not been able to work up a works-related pension like everyone else,” she explained.
Joe Holbeesh, who was injured in the Enniskillen bomb in 1987, added that he feels he was “very badly dealt with” at the time.
“I think that needs to be recognised. We all need to be recognised.”
Linda Bunting left her job to care for her husband after he lost a leg and part of another leg in a bomb in 1991.
“I have no right to any financial benefit even though I have given up work to care for him – this cannot be right and I hope that this research casts a spotlight on this,” she said.
The charity has called for the development of a dedicated benefits advice service for injured people, their families and carers.
Sandra Peake chief executive officer of WAVE Trauma Centre, said the report estimates that between 40,000 and 100,000 people were injured during the conflict.
“The sad reality is that there was no official list kept of those that were injured. It makes it very difficult to say with any degree of certainty how many people are out in our community who have been injured through the Troubles,” she explained.
Despite advances in pain management, the study found that both injured people and service providers reported that pain management continues to be an unrecognised and under-resourced service.


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