Alliance welcomes body to deal with the past and its legacy

Alliance Party Justice Spokesperson, Stephen Farry MLA, has welcomed the announcement by Secretary of State, Peter Hain, of the creation of an independent consultative group to address the legacy of the past, and stressed the importance of a comprehensive approach for dealing with the past to building a shared future.

Dr Stephen Farry stated: “This new body reflects proposals tabled by the Alliance Party to the British and Irish Governments last autumn.

“One of the missing ingredients from the Northern Ireland Peace Process has been any comprehensive process for dealing with the past and its legacy.

“Some may argue that focusing in on the past is counterproductive, keeps wounds open, and that society should move on. However, addressing the past and its legacy is fundamental to the process of reconciliation and building a shared future.

“To date, efforts to deal with the past and its legacy have been handled on a very piecemeal basis. This has only served to create further division.

“It is now time to draw together all the different perspective, to examine the constructive proposals from groups such as Healing Through Remembering, and to establish a comprehensive set of

“A number of particular areas relating to the victims of violence should be seriously considered. These include memorials, a possible annual day of reflection and remembrance, a forum for testimonials, to enable victims to place their memories on record, and most crucially a mechanism to address truth recovery.

“There are also other legacies of the past to be dealt with, such as the fate of ‘exiles’ and the effect of a history of paramiltarism and division on some communities.

“It is critical that the British and Irish Governments, and in particular our new devolved administration, act on the recommendations that will eventually follow.”


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