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Call for new members on forum for Troubles victims in Northern Ireland

By Noel McAdam

Published 13/04/2016

Appeal: Judith Thompson
Appeal: Judith Thompson

The Victims Commissioner has called for new members for the Victims Forum as politicians prepare to confront the past.

Judith Thompson said she hoped the move would help the organisation represent a larger range of people.

"Future planning for the victims and survivors of the conflict is essential as the aim of the forum is to help build a shared and better future," she added.

"This means an ongoing assessment of the needs of victims and survivors is crucial.

"Practically, funding arrangements and the provision of services which accompany these issues also need to be tackled and solutions found."

The forum is seeking individuals interested in sharing their experiences with other victims or survivors "to help inform the commissioner in the delivery of advice to government". Expressions of interest are sought by Wednesday, May 4 at 4pm.

The panel will be appointed for the period June 2016 through to September 2019, coinciding with the Victim Commissioner's term of office.

A plan on how to help victims of the Troubles was left out of the Fresh Start agreement between the DUP and Sinn Fein but is expected to be a priority for the next Executive.

The current forum, which includes members linked to the RUC and UDR, as well as civilian victims of IRA and loyalist paramilitary attacks, said it had "lost all trust and confidence in local politicians" following the deal last November.

Mrs Thompson previously predicted an agreement on the past was "very much on the cards" but also warned negotiations after the May 5 Assembly election could be the last chance for agreement.

Revellers in the Holylands on St Patrick's day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Revellers in the Holylands on St Patrick's day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/03/2016 A Police Presence in the Hollands area of Belfast, Celebrating Saint Patricks day.One police officer has been injured and three people have been arrested after disturbances in the Holyland area of south Belfast. Police were attacked with bottles in Agincourt Avenue as a crowd of about 300 people gathered in the area. The disturbances lasted for over two hours, ending at about 04:30 GMT. Police said they went to the area after a crowd was reported to be blocking the road and throwing missiles at homes and cars. Vehicles parked along the street were damaged during the trouble. One police officer said some people in the crowd had been singing "pro-IRA songs". Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/03/2016 A Police Presence in the Hollands area of Belfast, Celebrating Saint Patricks day.One police officer has been injured and three people have been arrested after disturbances in the Holyland area of south Belfast. Police were attacked with bottles in Agincourt Avenue as a crowd of about 300 people gathered in the area. The disturbances lasted for over two hours, ending at about 04:30 GMT. Police said they went to the area after a crowd was reported to be blocking the road and throwing missiles at homes and cars. Vehicles parked along the street were damaged during the trouble. One police officer said some people in the crowd had been singing "pro-IRA songs". Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/03/2016 A Police Presence in the Hollands area of Belfast, Celebrating Saint Patricks day.One police officer has been injured and three people have been arrested after disturbances in the Holyland area of south Belfast. Police were attacked with bottles in Agincourt Avenue as a crowd of about 300 people gathered in the area. The disturbances lasted for over two hours, ending at about 04:30 GMT. Police said they went to the area after a crowd was reported to be blocking the road and throwing missiles at homes and cars. Vehicles parked along the street were damaged during the trouble. One police officer said some people in the crowd had been singing "pro-IRA songs". Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/03/2016 A Police Presence in the Hollands area of Belfast, Celebrating Saint Patricks day.One police officer has been injured and three people have been arrested after disturbances in the Holyland area of south Belfast. Police were attacked with bottles in Agincourt Avenue as a crowd of about 300 people gathered in the area. The disturbances lasted for over two hours, ending at about 04:30 GMT. Police said they went to the area after a crowd was reported to be blocking the road and throwing missiles at homes and cars. Vehicles parked along the street were damaged during the trouble. One police officer said some people in the crowd had been singing "pro-IRA songs". Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
A naked man is pictured wearing a Tricolour in the Holylands. Picture: BBC reporter Claire Graham @JournoClaire
Clean up at the Holylands area of Belfast on Thursday Morning, One police officer has been injured and three people have been arrested after disturbances in the Holyland area of south Belfast. Photo Pacemaker Press
Around 300 people gathered in the Holylands. March 2016. Picture: BBC
People in the Holylands celebrating Saint Patricks day.One police officer has been injured and three people have been arrested after disturbances in the Holyland area of south Belfast. Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker
People in the Holylands celebrating Saint Patricks day.One police officer has been injured and three people have been arrested after disturbances in the Holyland area of south Belfast. Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker
The morning after the night before. People in the Holylands celebrating Saint Patricks day.One police officer has been injured and three people have been arrested after disturbances in the Holyland area of south Belfast. Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker
The morning after the night before. People in the Holylands celebrating Saint Patricks day.One police officer has been injured and three people have been arrested after disturbances in the Holyland area of south Belfast. Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker 17/03/2016
The morning after the night before. People in the Holylands celebrating Saint Patricks day.One police officer has been injured and three people have been arrested after disturbances in the Holyland area of south Belfast. Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker
Clean up at the Holylands area of Belfast on Thursday Morning, One police officer has been injured and three people have been arrested after disturbances in the Holyland area of south Belfast. Photo Pacemaker Press
The situation was brought under control at around 4.30am. March 2016. Picture: BBC

Addressing a two-day conference attended by victims' groups and policymakers, Mrs Thompson said Fresh Start had been a "crushing disappointment".

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