Soldier f

Don’t prosecute Soldier F

Sometimes old grievances are best laid to rest. That was certainly the view of Tony Blair when his government issued nearly 200 ‘comfort letters’ to Irish nationalist gunmen in the wake of the Good Friday Agreement. But a decision by the Northern Ireland High Court on Wednesday will upend that principle, setting back years of compromise and reconciliation. For some time it has been all but impossible to prosecute IRA men for murders committed during the Troubles. British security forces, however, remain vulnerable, although most are now in their seventies and long retired. One, indeed, died during a trial last year, one suspects partly from the trauma of being dragged through the courts