Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Parties must be held to account over failures

SINN Fein should stop blaming others, stop peddling conspiracy theories and start taking genuine responsibility for their movement's murderous past.

The "dark forces" around the Jean McConville case are those who perpetrated the crime, or were involved in its planning and the subsequent cover-up and intimidation.

It is about time that the party's priority became helping police bring to justice the people who played a role in one of the most brutal murders of the Troubles and accepting that, whoever that may be, they are likely to spend two years behind bars and then get released on licence. Nobody would disagree that that is a small punishment for such a grave offence.

Many victims and others have made sacrifices and shown tremendous grace to get Northern Ireland to where it is today.

Across the board, there are parties who are not playing a constructive role in moving our society beyond conflict, or so-called "peace-processing" and toward normality.

We need parties which give unequivocal backing to the rule of law and support their police force as much as possible, rather than looking to undermine it, or subjecting its work to an ongoing sectarian audit.

The biggest parties at Stormont are not offering that constructive attitude and I would urge voters to hold them to account for that failure.

TREVOR RINGLAND

Co-chair, NI Conservatives

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