Alliance Deputy Leader and Victims’ Spokesperson Eileen Bell has said that the challenge by a widow to the appointment of Bertha McDougall as Victims’ Commissioner was inevitable, and shows how valueless a political process based on sectarian hand-outs is.
The North Down MLA stated: “We in Alliance are clear that we want the Victims’ Commissioner to be able to get on with the job, and to do so as impartially as possible.”
However, we warned from the very start that turning the Victims’ Commissioner into a political sop, appointed at the behest of one specific political party, was an unacceptable road to go down. The genuine lack of cross-community support makes the post almost valueless.
“It should be noted that the appointment is only temporary, but we would now urge the Government to get on with the appointment of a Victims’ Commissioner by public appointment, and to keep all political biases out of it.
This shows once again that a political process based on sectarian hand-outs rather than inclusive, comprehensive negotiations cannot work. It is time for genuine engagement with all the Assembly parties.