Irish Government poised to take legal action against UK over controversial Legacy Bill

After years of protests, campaigns and cries to stop, the UK Government's controversial Legacy Bill is law.

The legislation will be able to grant immunity and will put a stop to Troubles inquests and civil cases - something of an 'ultimate betrayal' to families, according to Fine Gael's Northern Ireland spokesperson, Emer Currie.

The bill has been met with widespread condemnation from the Irish Government, as well as the five main parties in Stormont, human rights groups and even the US Senate.

Pressure is now mounting on Dublin to take an interstate case against the UK Government and stop the law before it takes motion.

Gráinne Teggart, Deputy Director for Amnesty International, told View From Stormont: "They now have to follow through with that opposition and take that interstate case.

"By taking that interstate case, the Irish government would lodge those papers with the European Court of Human Rights within four months of this becoming law and that will hopefully serve to expedite the process, so that instead of victims being burdened and fighting in domestic courts for years, it'll be dealt with in a timely manner."

At Westminster, however, there is support for the bill from the Tories and especially from military veterans.

Lord Dannatt, former head of the Army said the legislation is "the best of a bad lot of options".

He continued: "It has been too easy for investigators to start their investigations by fishing expeditions, quizzing, interviewing and interrogating old soldiers.

"When you are in your sixties and seventies and were caught up in a violent incident in which in 90% of the occasions, you were doing your duty, according to the regulations laid down... it brings a degree of worry and fear. That is totally unjustified.

"I think it's reasonable to say that this bill is something of a sledgehammer to crack that particular nut, although it's important nut. But because it's something of a sledgehammer, I can understand why it is deeply unpopular across political parties with many victims families in Northern Ireland."

An interstate case is now likely, with the Irish Government already seeking legal advice.

But how does one government taking its neighbour to court affect relations?

Ray Bassett, a former senior member of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin, told View From Stormont that relations are already "pretty poor".

"In the past you wouldn't normally have to make representations in public. There would be a lot of quiet meetings. And to be honest with you, during, say, the Blair and Brown period, which I would be familiar with, it would be inconceivable for the British government to go ahead without kind of squaring the Irish government and the political parties in Northern Ireland.

"It is probably symbolic of a deterioration in relations that we're having this megaphone diplomacy."

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