Ford says victims being forgotten about in process

Alliance Leader David Ford MLA has said victims and their families are being forgotten by other political parties, after families of victims held a protest at Stormont calling for funding for legacy inquests to be released.

During the protest, letters threatening legal action if funding was not released within a fortnight were handed over to the Northern Ireland Office and the Executive. The Lord Chief Justice has previously requested £10 million funding for a five-year programme to deal with inquests into Troubles killings, a request blocked by First Minister Arlene Foster.

Mr Ford said the status quo on the past was not sustainable in the long-term.

“Alliance has previously put proposals on the past, which reflected many of our party policies, to other parties during various negotiations in order to move us all forward in a way that was sensitive and inclusive of the needs of victims.

“They were agreed at Stormont House, almost two years ago. Yet we are still sitting here without any action being taken. Alliance also put proposals to the DUP and Sinn Fein as part of the negotiations around the Justice Ministry earlier this year. However, they were again rejected by those two parties.

“Victims are too important to be used as a political football by the DUP, Sinn Fein and the two Governments. Yet they still are being shunted about, without any of their issues being resolved.”

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