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Sinn Féin slams compensation offer to UDA victim

16 August, 2004


Sinn Féin MLA for North Belfast Kathy Stanton has slammed the compensation offer to a victim of a UDA attack. Jason O'Halloran was shot three times by the UDA on the same night that the same organisation murdered Gerard Lawlor. However despite his injuries the Compensation Agency has only offered him compensation of under £500.

Speaking today Ms Stanton said:

"The offer is completely unacceptable and exposes the compensation agency to practice of creating a hierarchy of victims. Jason's case is of no less importance than anyone else's and for his ordeal to be reduced in this manner is offensive from the outset.

"What is at issue here is not the amount of money offered, but the fact that victims are being treated in this manner. In a case that was clearly attempted murder by the UDA, and an attack in which the victim suffered serious injuries the Compensation Agency has failed miserably.

"Tony Blair has referred this case to the NIO but they have since failed to get in contact with Mr O'Halloran. What is clearly needed from both the NIO and the British government is an immediate review as to how victims are treated by statutory agencies, but in particular outstanding and recurring issues surrounding how the Compensation Agency is addressing victims legitimate claims." ENDS

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