Alliance Calls for Government-Led Talks on Past

Responding to the release of the Summary of Reponses to the Northern Ireland Office’s Consultation on the Eames-Bradley Commission, Alliance Party Justice Spokesperson, Stephen Farry, has expressed his frustration at the deadlock over this issue and called upon the Secretary of State to lead cross-party talks to find some agreement on how this society can best address its past.

Stephen Farry stated: “I am increasingly frustrated at the political stalemate around how we deal with the past. There remain strong competing demands for truth and justice this society. These cannot simply be swept under the carpet.

“Dealing with all of these matters through the criminal justice system is not going to be feasible, not least due to lack of the sufficient evidence. A succession of public inquiries would be financially crippling. The Historical Enquiries Team does very useful work but it cannot address broader societal issues.

“The logic points to some type of comprehensive over-arching process. Alliance is realistic about its prospects, especially this far on into our peace process. But nevertheless, it is something that has to be tried.

“At present, this broad issue is being allowed to drift. We have had a succession of reports, such as those from the Eames-Bradley Commission and more recently the Commission for Victims and Survivors. It took the NIO nine months to compile the summary of responses to their consultation on Eames-Bradley. Nothing is happening to pull this together.

“There is both a responsibility and an opportunity for the Secretary of State to provide leadership on this matter. Owen Patterson should consider convening talks between the parties and driving the process to find agreement on what can happen.”


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