Long says Hain suggestion is not helpful

Alliance MP Naomi Long has said former Secretary of State Peter Hain’s suggestion that there should be an amnesty over prosecutions relating to the Troubles is “not helpful” for victims still seeking justice.

Mrs Long said Mr Hain’s comments that such a move, which would apply to pre-Good Friday agreement cases, was “necessary for Northern Ireland to stop being stalked by its past” could lead to a situation that was “morally wrong” if implemented. The issue of amnesties have come to light recently following the discovery of a scheme which issued letters to so-called ‘on the run’ republicans, stating they would not be prosecuted for their alleged crimes.

“Alliance has consistently opposed any amnesty relating to crimes committed during the Troubles, and indeed continually called for a clear and transparent method to deal with the issue, so those affected would not be denied justice.

“The victims of incidents during the Troubles have suffered each day since. To suggest any chance, remote as it may be in some cases, of justice would be taken away from them, causes them to suffer further heartache.

“Offering immunity in relation to some form of truth recovery may be a better approach to deal with this complex matter. But to suggest a blanket amnesty with nothing in return is a crass suggestion that is no better than the shabby side deal which led to the ‘on the run’ scheme.”


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