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Slow progress in tackling Northern Ireland's past

By Noel McAdam

Published 30/08/2011

The issue of dealing with the past is gathering dust on Government shelves. While the Victims Commission continues its work, there has been no real progress on handling the legacy of the Troubles since the Eames/Bradley report.

The last development was Secretary of State Owen Paterson's speech last November when he effectively told the Executive: "Now it's over to you."

While Mr Paterson hinted at possible announcements during this year, nothing has actually happened and nothing is imminent, a spokesperson confirmed yesterday.

The responses to the Eames/ Bradley recommendations - underpinned by a lack of political will - showed the almost complete absence of any consensus on moving forward.

Some argue that a line should simply be drawn under the past, others still put the case for a full-blown South African-style truth and reconciliation commission.

Many victims say they just want to know the truth about why what happened happened, but in others a strong yearning for justice remains.

Mr Paterson has decided that whatever suggestions the Government makes, they are not going to satisfy everybody.

In the meantime, a comprehensive means assessment for everyone injured during the Troubles would be a good place to start.


Belfast Telegraph

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