Alliance Party Leader, David Ford, reacting to the Government’s response to the Cory Report by stressing the need to remember the needs of all the victims of violence, is calling upon the Government to urgently develop their plans for a wider process dealing with the issues of truth, reconciliation and justice.
David Ford said:
“Our thoughts today should first of all be with all of the victims of violence over the past 30 years.
“There are clearly some serious issues in relation to the four cases addressed by Judge Cory that do need to be properly explored.
“The Governments made commitments as part of a series of trade-offs at Weston Park that they had little choice but to deliver upon.
“However, it does have to be asked why the Governments elevated certain cases, even certain cases where there are allegations of collusion, above many others.
“I have major reservations about the wisdom of yet more inquiries along the Bloody Sunday Inquiry model. There are lessons from that ongoing saga that should be learnt and applied.
“Wider attention must urgently be applied to the issues of how we deal with the demands for truth, reconciliation and justice. We currently have a very fractured debate that does need to be drawn together.
“I am encouraged by remarks by the Prime Minister of a wider consultation process on to handle these issues. However, neither the Prime Minister nor Secretary of State have elaborated much on this issue.
“Alliance believes that a taskforce should be formed to drive this process forward. In practice, there is likely to be no ‘one size fits all’ approach, but rather a range of different measures such as a Victims’ Forum to tell their stories, and improved funding for victims groups.
“Alliance will be pressing the Government to deliver upon this broad commitment.
“We should not give up the possibility of prosecuting all of those responsible for the brutal activities in the past. It is notable that even last night NATO forces were attempting to arrest Serb war criminal, Radovan Karadzic.”