ALLIANCE Deputy Leader Eileen Bell MLA has said that the issue of the ‘Disappeared’ must be prioritised by both the British and Irish Governments if they are serious about dealing with the needs of the victims of the ‘Troubles’.
Speaking after a meeting in Parliament Buildings this afternoon with the families of the ‘Disappeared’ – people who were kidnapped and murdered by paramilitary groups – and the WAVE Trauma Centre, Mrs Bell, also the Alliance Spokesperson on Victims, stated:
“There is a sense of expectation that the IRA is about to deliver on bringing their paramilitary campaign to an end, and that decommissioning is now a resolvable issue. While we await the outcome of these issues, there is still absolutely no movement on the matter of the ‘Disappeared’.
“It is now a quarter of a century since some of the victims were taken from their loved ones and murdered, and these families are still suffering. There is no sense of closure to the conflict for them, and their grief still plainly causes them much grief.
“If the IRA are serious about moving Northern Ireland forward, they must allow others to move on too. Until they end their arrogant ‘omerta’ surrounding the ‘Disappeared’ they are denying the families of the victims the right to give their relatives a Christian burial.
“This is a human rights issue and Alliance will continue to push the two governments to put more pressure on those who are in a position to help, but who have failed to do so. It is time to end the silence, because the ‘Disappeared’ will not become the forgotten.”