Alliance endorses cost-effective way of dealing with the past

Alliance Party Justice Spokesperson, Stephen Farry MLA, has welcomed the report of the Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee on dealing with the past as a mature contribution to a much needed debate, and stressed the importance of finding a cost-effective and holistic alternative through the forthcoming recommendations of the Consultative Group on the Past.

Dr Stephen Farry stated: “Alliance welcomes this report as a mature contribution to a much-needed debate.

“There are clear and significant financial cost implications from the piecemeal approach of dealing with the past through selective inquiries.

“Once established, inquiries become a law onto themselves, with no accountability over costs or assessment of value for money. It is bewildering that the Bloody Sunday Inquiry has still not reported, ten years on from its creation.

“Fundamentally, there are also trade-offs to made in any society on how scarce resources are allocated. There are major opportunity costs from the course that Northern Ireland has been set down.

“The mounting cost of inquiries could go a long way to addressing other longstanding social, economic, environmental and indeed policing costs in this society. Looming on the horizon is a tightening of the policing and security budget in Northern Ireland from the UK Treasury.

“The sobering financial realities should embolden society, across the political spectrum, to give serious consideration to the forthcoming recommendations of the Consultative Group on the Past, and to aim for a holistic and cost-effective means for addressing the legacy of violence and division, in a manner consistent with a shared future.”


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