The Troubles Legacy Act

04th Jun 2024

Andy Seaman​ felt out of place when, on 26 May 2022, he walked into the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith. Andy has little connection to Ireland; he’s from East London and his family’s roots are in Dominica. But earlier that day he had heard on the radio that the centre was hosting an event run by the organisation Troubles, Tragedy and Trauma. He told me that he felt ‘compelled to go down there’.

In 1991, Andy’s older brother, Tony Harrison, a private in the Parachute Regiment stationed in Belfast, was shot dead by the IRA while off duty. For more than thirty years, Andy and his mother, Martha, have been waiting for the British state to properly investigate Tony’s murder. For most of that time they have felt completely alone in their endeavour. In May 2022, legislation was making its way through Parliament that made it more likely than ever that Tony’s killers would never be prosecuted. Andy felt that the memory of his brother had been dishonoured. He was desperate to find anyone who could help. ‘I walked into the Irish Cultural Centre not knowing what to expect,’ he told me. ‘They looked at me, like, “Are you in the right place?” – so I explained why I was there, and all about Tony.

Read Daniel Trilling’s moving piece about the Legacy Act and its terrible impact on this bereaved family of a soldier murdered by the IRA, in the London Review of Books.


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