Belfast Telegraph

Victims of Troubles 'being failed'

The Government, Sinn Fein and the DUP are all failing the victims of Northern Ireland's decades of violence, it has been claimed.

Denis Bradley, who drew up ambitious plans to deal with the legacy of the Troubles, hit out after fears the Government is set to unveil watered-down proposals.

He declared there would be no Truth Commission and said the IRA is "leading victims up the garden path", while the DUP is "using their divided society" to delay any probe of how and why the Troubles took place.

Secretary of State Owen Paterson will make proposals next year on dealing with the fallout of the conflict, but a conference of victims' groups in Belfast heard fears that a weak response will consign society to further years of hate and suspicion.

But Mr Bradley said: "It's not just the British Government. I don't accept the Sinn Fein position on this at all, at all, at all.

"Let me be very clear about that. I think there is roguery going on here. I think there is no desire within the IRA for a Truth Commission and I think they are leading victims up the garden path. So I am as angry and annoyed with the IRA as I am with the British Government ... I don't think they will come forward if Gerry Adams, not alone appealed to them, but screamed at them."

He added: "If I would be critical of Sinn Fein on this, I would be equally critical of the DUP, who really don't want to know this issue - they really don't. It's, 'Just let it go out there, let it float, time and tide will deal with this one'.

"I have seen nothing of any difference from that on the DUP side ... I think they are using their very divided society - more divided than the republican/nationalist society - to actually keep this at a great distance."

He was questioned by a member of the audience at the Ulster Hall event about the £20 million compensation scheme announced by Government for former part-time security force members, despite the refusal to follow his recommendation to give bereaved families £12,000 each.

Mr Bradley said: "The dirty little deals - I call them dirty - that are done around the side ... were done as political deals to get certain people into certain positions."

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