UK defence chief 'uncomfortable' over prospect of any Troubles investigation

The head of the British armed forces has said he feels "uncomfortable" at the prospect of being investigated as part of the Troubles probe.

General Nick Carter, Chief of the Defence Staff, acknowledged his multiple tours in Northern Ireland but added that it was for politicians to decide what to do with the process examining the region's past.

Conservative MPs have led the opposition against British veterans facing potential legal action for events linked to the Troubles.

In July, more than 30 of them supported a backbench proposal for a 20-year time limit on reopening cases involving former members of the armed forces who served in Northern Ireland.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has labelled the existing investigation system as "flawed" due to its "disproportionate focus" on former members of the armed forces and police, with a consultation on dealing with legacy issues recently closing.

More than 3,500 people were killed as a result of the Troubles.

General Carter, in an interview with The House magazine, said: "As a military officer who's done multiple tours in Northern Ireland, I am uncomfortable with the prospect of being investigated.

"But this is a political issue and is, therefore, something that the politicians have to deal with.

"And of course, it's associated with the peace process. Again, it's a political issue."

General Carter also addressed the difficulties experienced by veterans after returning from service, noting: "I feel it myself.

"Not a day goes by when I don't think of the 375 people who died under my command in southern Afghanistan in 2010. Not a day goes by.

"But I'm fortunate that I've got people I can talk to about it still."

PA


Related Articles

Man arrested in Donegal on suspicion of 1972 murder of two UDR soldiers

Tory MPs urge Theresa May to drop plans to investigate Northern Ireland military veterans

TG4 documentary to tell story of Frank Stagg who died after 62-day hunger strike

Families of those killed in Troubles urge rethink on legacy issues

More in this Section

'I might have given a dirty look but that was it' - man acquitted of harassing and threatening to kill sister

Amnesty strips Aung San Suu Kyi of highest honour

Warning rental market 'out of control' as figures show rents up 11.3%

Kerry Council to raise burial charges and step up parking enforcement in effort to balance its budget


Breaking Stories

Four home remedies that can soothe a seasonal sore throat

I’m A Celebrity: As contestants land in Oz – these are the 10 emotional stages of a long haul flight

Victoria Beckham, Kim Kardashian and Rita Ora: All the best looks from the E! People’s Choice Awards

Alcohol Awareness Week: How to talk to your children about alcohol

More From The Irish Examiner