Alliance Party Victims Spokesperson Eileen Bell has described the payment of nearly £100,000 to a the Fernhill House museum as “galling”, saying that the money had clearly been granted as a political sop.
Mrs Bell stated: “There are some superb new community sector groups being established, not least to promote victims’ rights and genuine reconciliation, and yet still the Government is funding organizations as a blatant political sop. Most genuine claimants will find handing out public money in such a way utterly galling.
“The fact is the application process was not properly applied in the Fernhill House museum case. It is always dangerous to ignore best practice in assessing funding applications, but it is totally outrageous to do so as part of a clearly political carve-up.
“It is not good enough to fund groups for fear of there allegedly being significant political fall-out otherwise. The really significant political fall-out will come when counselling groups, after-school facilities and victims’ groups cannot access the funds they require and deserve because
other groups are being presented with money for nothing.
“The Government should beware: the alienation of so many good people from the funding process and from the political process threatens the entire process. The Government must address people’s genuine sense that they are being treated unfairly in favour of sops to the extremes. It must do so, first of all, by ensuring that grant money is handed out properly and