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Anger at appointment of Evelyn Glenholmes to terrorist victims forum

A REPUBLICAN once described as one of the IRA's most wanted suspects in Britain has been chosen to sit on a new forum representing terrorist victims in Northern Ireland.

Ulster Unionists expressed outrage at the appointment of Eibhlin (Evelyn) Glenholmes.

In the mid-1980s Ms Glenholmes was at the centre of extradition proceedings and was eventually freed by the authorities in Dublin after a court ruled the warrants defective.

She eventually returned to Belfast at the time of the developing peace process and at one stage sat on Sinn Fein's ruling executive. She now works with a republican ex-prisoners project.

Ms Glenholmes was never convicted of any terrorist charges, but some Unionists said today that they oppose her appointment to the Victims and Survivors Commission - an advisory body - which is due to hold its first formal meeting in Belfast later this month. It has already held a two-day workshop in Co Donegal.

Other members of the commission are believed to include former members of the security forces, a woman who lost her legs in a 1972 IRA bombing and a Presbyterian minister.

Jim Alister, a hardline Unionist member of the Northern Ireland Assembly, said: "I'm utterly disgusted. It's a monstrous appointment. It is a gross insult to the innocent victims.

Tom Elliott, a former Ulster Unionist Party leader, said: "Clearly someone with this sort of chequered past, who does not seem to have any remorse for what she has done, is symptomatic of the difficulties we have here. It is a retrograde step."

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