Alliance has put the need for party talks on addressing the past on the Assembly agenda for next week. On Monday, East Belfast Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle, who is also the Party’s Spokesperson on OFMDFM matters, is going to propose a motion in the Assembly calling for the Secretary of State Owen Paterson to convene party talks to find a way forward in addressing the legacy of the past.
Chris Lyttle MLA said: “It is absolutely imperative that there are talks between the parties in Northern Ireland urgently, so that victims and survivors needs can be met and that we can establish a process to deal with what happened during the troubles.
“It is crucial that all parties in Northern Ireland take the opportunity that our motion provides to send out the strongest message that we all want to make progress on addressing the past. Instead of looking at events in a fragmented way we must find a way towards creating a comprehensive and overarching process.
“There must be urgency in establishing a way forward and that is why we believe it is crucial that there are talks including all parties and the British and Irish governments as soon as possible.
“It’s not simply enough that we have peace – we need to look at our past to help us ensure that there is never a return to the dark days which caused so much devastation across all of Northern Ireland. The very least we owe victims and survivors is a discussion centred on their needs on how to address the past.
“This motion itself is not about having a debate on the past but is a clarion call to the Secretary of State to convene party talks urgently to address its legacy. The other parties should take this opportunity to join with us in emphasising the need for talks.
“Progress on addressing the events of the troubles must be made to help build a shared future for everyone. To have a peaceful and stable future we must address the past.”