Needs of victims must come first in ‘on-the-run’ legislation – Bell

Alliance Party Deputy Leader Eileen Bell has demanded

that the Government make the needs of victims

paramount when planning legislation on ‘on-the-runs’.

Speaking after a meeting with the PSNI, the North Down

MLA stated: ‘The Government is clearly intent on

legislation allowing the return of so-called

“on-the-runs” to Northern Ireland, some of whom are

responsible for some of the worst atrocities during

the past 35 years.

‘This is perhaps a logical follow-on from the

Agreement. However, seeing the perpetrators of such

appalling acts walk freely on the streets will be yet

another extremely painful part of the process for the

victims of the conflict and their families. The needs

and feelings of these entirely innocent people must be

paramount in any legislation.

‘We have proposed to the Government that “on-the-runs”

face a special judicial tribunal, to ensure the

victims feel some sense of justice and, if they so

wish, the opportunity to see those responsible for

causing such suffering.

‘In this way society can, as it must, make clear that

what these people did was wrong, is still wrong, and

will not be forgotten.

‘The Alliance Party will continue to take the lead in

making constructive suggestions on behalf of victims

before the legislation is published, rather than

merely standing by and complaining about it



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