A member of the newly-formed Victims' Forum has spoken of his optimism for the future following the fledgling organisation's first get-together.
Forum members spent three days in a hotel close to Edinburgh in an “ice breaker” residential ahead of its first formal meeting next week.
Raymond McCord, whose son Raymond Jnr was murdered by the UVF in 1997, was among those who attended.
“It was very impressive and there was a real feeling of unity. It was emotional and a lot of hard work was involved.
“For the first time in 12 years, I don't feel that I only have the support of my family and a few close friends.
“I think politicians are finally going to have to listen to the victims.”
The Victims' Forum involves the full spectrum of opinion, from loyalist to republican.
Mr McCord said the three days had involved intensive discussions on a range of issues.
“There were no arguments — it was first class,” he added.