Robinson calls on PM to back Ranger McCormick family’s case

AN East Londonderry MLA has written back to Prime Minister David Cameron restating a Coleraine family’s case that their soldier son who was killed in Afghanistan last year be honoured posthumously.

Last week the Coleraine Times began a campaign in support of Margaret McCormick - mother of 22-year-old Ranger Aaron McCormick - who is calling for the MoD honours system to be reviewed to include those who have made the “supreme sacrifice”.

Taking up the family’s case, the DUP’s George Robinson first wrote to Mr Cameron last month and followed that with a second letter to Downing Street last Tuesday.

He told the Prime Minister: “Sadly, Ranger McCormick’s commitment to protecting the local people and his army colleagues was not recognised on the recent list of 140 personnel the MoD honoured for their bravery. This has added immensely to the grief and hurt felt by some of the bereaved families.

“I am not questioning the validity of the awards to those 140 men and women who were honoured, but wish to express my deep disappointment and regret that this young hero, and two of his Royal Irish Regiment colleagues - Ranger David Dalzell from Bangor and Lance Corporal Stephen McKee from Banbridge - have been overlooked. I believe this is an oversight that needs correction at the earliest possible moment.

“When, as is the case in this instance, you have a young man who is prepared to crawl on his stomach towards an IED his courage, and ultimate sacrifice, must be acknowledged in a due and appropriate manner. I am hoping that you will play a major part in ensuring that this is the case.

“A situation where our young men and women give their all in the service of their country, without due and appropriate recognition, can no longer be deemed to be acceptable.”

Having received no reply from the Prime Minister, Mr Robinson wrote to him again last week, saying: “Whilst I appreciate that you are busy, the family of Ranger McCormick - with my full support - are concerned at finding an expeditious resolution to their request.”

Currently the UK does not automatically recognised any soldiers who die for their country relying instead on commanding officers making personal recommendations based on whether or not they believe a soldier committed an “act of bravery” and is worthy of a medal.