Government’s plans for advancing a mechanism for dealing with Northern Ireland’s past and its legacy.
Speaking during Northern Ireland Questions in the House of Commons today
(Wednesday), the Alliance MP called on Theresa Villiers to state what the
Government was planning to do to reach a deal that is transparent, while
remaining respectful to victims.
It followed two days of sessions by the Northern Ireland Affairs Select
Committee at Stormont, which saw Mrs Long and other members of the committee hear from victims’ groups among further concerned parties regarding so-called ‘on-the-runs’.
“This week we heard directly from several victims who expressed their disappointment, distrust and upset over the issue of so-called ‘on-the-runs’.
It illustrated again that creating a comprehensive process for dealing with the
past remains one of the most fundamental tasks facing us as a society. Without
resolving it, it remains difficult to make progress in many other vital areas
such as education, health and the economy.
“It is also nothing less than a moral obligation to those who have suffered
through the Troubles and beyond that we help aid the wider reconciliation of
our community. It is not about reopening old wounds or gouging at previous
areas of hurt, but rather the opposite.
“In the week it was announced there will be further talks about the past,
parades and flags, I welcome the Secretary of State’s commitment to no more
side deals, while having a balanced and accountable process. It is key we take
the opportunity to deal with these issues and events, or else they will
otherwise control and limit our future.”