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Flanagan in plea to finally deal with Troubles legacy issues

By Nevin Farrell

Published 12/09/2016

Responsibility: Charlie Flanagan
Responsibility: Charlie Flanagan

The Republic's Foreign Affairs Minister has said it is time for politicians to step up to the mark and overcome obstacles to dealing with the legacy of the Troubles.

Charlie Flanagan was speaking at a conference attended by British and Irish politicians in Oxford.

A plan to deal with delays to Troubles inquests has been proposed by Northern Ireland's Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan.

He has requested £10m funding for a five-year programme to deal with inquests into the some of the conflict's most controversial killings.

However, the funding has yet to be granted.

Mr Flanagan said: "I believe it is the solemn responsibility of politicians in London, in Belfast and in Dublin to deliver a framework for dealing with legacy issues.

"This must ensure equality of access for victims and survivors to whatever truth and justice is available in their case and provide a platform for genuine reconciliation in society."

He added: "Our collective inability to find a better way to address individual experiences of loss and horror damages our collective wellbeing and our ability to build the fully reconciled society we all want to see. It is time for all of us to step up."

Mr Flanagan also welcomed the new Northern Ireland Secretary's position on addressing legacy issues.

James Brokenshire said on Friday that dealing with the legacy of the province's troubled past was a priority, and it should enter a public phase.

Delivering a keynote address at the British Irish Association conference at Pembroke College on Saturday, Mr Flanagan said: "What has been achieved in Northern Ireland over the past decades is extraordinary, but there is a long way still to go.

"The challenges, however complex, must be addressed.

"I have worked consistently to deliver because I believe it is the solemn responsibility of politicians in London, in Belfast and in Dublin to deliver a framework for dealing with legacy issues."

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