The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland (GOLI) supports the call by many victims’ groups for the Victims’ Commissioner Judith Thompson to resign.

The Orange Institution lost over 300 members during the ‘Troubles’, many serving with or ex-members of the Crown forces, the police, army and prison service. Others were murdered simply because they were Protestant.

A spokesperson for GOLI said: “The advice by Ms Thompson to the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) and Secretary of State that those members of the terrorist organisations that carried out such murders and were seriously injured should receive a Government pension is as repugnant as it is morally indefensible. The hurt such advice caused to the victims of terror has added to their pain, rather than addressing their needs and concerns, which is the role of the Commissioner.

“The victims of terrorism are ill-served by a Commissioner who offers such advice and causes distress, therefore the Orange Institution adds their voice to the calls for Judith Thompson to resign, as her position is untenable having lost significant support within the victims’ sector.

“The issue of pensions for terrorist victims should not be delayed any further. One commentator recently summed up the view of many in the victims’ sector and the wider community, ‘Exclude the wounded terrorists’, and get on with meeting the needs of terrorist victims.”