Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Our past must be dealt with to shape our future

INNOCENT victims and survivors of terrorism do not rejoice that progress (in the form of an agreed deal through the Haass talks process) could not be made on matters concerning the past (News, January 1).

Rather, they are saddened that the failure to lay the necessary foundation stone at the start of the process inevitably meant that the house which was attempted to be built was bound to collapse. Before another word is spoken in terms of negotiating the past, there must be an acceptance, agreed by all participating parties, that the use of violence in furthering a political objective was never justified and that the taking of life was wrong.

If this foundation stone is put in place, then a house can be built which will stand the test of time and which will undermine the efforts of a re-branded IRA (and others) to bring death and destruction to this community.

Dr Haass and his team, in partnership with the Executive parties, were tasked with developing proposals under the theme Dealing with the Past.

This was then re-branded Contending with the Past. We believe what has actually materialised amounts to Removing the Past. Fifteen years on from the Belfast Agreement, this issue must be resolved once and for all. Innocent victims and survivors of terrorism desire a genuine and sustainable peace, but they will not allow their loved-ones's graves to be trampled on.

KENNY DONALDSON

Innocent Victims United

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