Needs of victims must be resolved urgently, says Ford

Alliance MLA David Ford has said the needs of victims must be resolved urgently, after meeting representatives on legacy issues.

The former Justice Minister was speaking after attending a meeting of the Victims and Survivors Forum in East Belfast. Issues raised included dealing with the past and a pension for those injured in the Troubles.

Mr Ford said it was a useful opportunity.

“It was valuable to hear first-hand and in person the views and opinions of victims on a number of matters and likewise, it was beneficial to put across the Alliance stance on issues such as the victims’ pension. It is part of an ongoing engagement the party has with victims and I hope it is as useful for them.

“Alliance has always raised the topic of victims and survivors in the numerous talks processes over the years, and also put proposals to the DUP and Sinn Fein as part of our consideration for retaking the Justice Ministry last year. We had hoped it would resolve outstanding issues around the legacy of the past, however, they were rejected by those two parties.

“Victims are far too important to be used as a political football, which is precisely how they continue to be treated by some. The current status quo is not sustainable – instead, we need to comprehensively deal with the past so victims and their loved ones can have their issues resolved.”

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