Alliance Rejects ‘War’ Suggestion

Alliance Party Justice Spokesperson, Stephen Farry, has strongly rejected suggestions, made by the Consultative Group on the Past, that the UK Government should state that they were fighting a ‘war’ against the IRA.

The North Down MLA stated: “People right across the community will rightly be extremely wary at suggestions that the UK Government should rewrite history and declare that they were fighting ‘a war’ against the IRA.

“We in Alliance have so far supported the work of the Consultative Group on the Past. Dealing with the legacy of conflict and division is a key part of efforts to reconcile our society and to create a shared future.

“However, such a move by the UK Government would be tantamount to a legitimisation of the actions of the IRA after the event. This would only be dangerous but would be an insult to victims of IRA violence and to all of those who strove during the years of ‘the Troubles’ to uphold democracy and the rule of law, and some semblance of a normal society.

“We have no doubt that the Eames/Bradley consultation and any process that flows from it will involve considerable pain, not least for the security forces. But the mere fact that the police and army are being judged on the basis of the norms of the rule of law and human rights in itself is rejection a notion that a ‘war’ was being fought.

“Other mechanisms can be created to encourage paramilitaries to come forward without granting their wish for a rewrite of history. It is worth noting that the ill-fated scheme for dealing with the ‘On the Runs’ did envisage an accelerated process for dealing with paramilitaries without conceding any legitimisation of their actions.

“I and my colleagues hope that this is purely a kite-flying exercise on the past of the Consultative Group, and that this proposal does not see the light of day.”


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