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Victims' champion slams politicians

Many victims of the Troubles believe they will be dead before politicians agree on a way forward on dealing with the past.

And that is a "damning indictment" of how they have been treated over the years, Victims Commissioner Kathryn Stone warned.

"A better and shared future is a pipe-dream for many victims and for many they are just words that take no account of the burning rage about the lack of justice, the not knowing, the grief that becomes all-consuming and the pain of physical and psychological injuries," she added.

Her attack came ahead of the biggest-ever gathering of victims and survivors groups from across the province in Belfast today.

More than 280 representatives – almost double the total originally expected – are expected to attend a conference less than a mile from Parliament Buildings at the Stormont Hotel.

Their views will help Ms Stone draw up recommendations for First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness on a "structured way" of dealing with the legacy from the Troubles – which she is due to submit at the end of next month.

"Tuesday is their opportunity to formally have their say.

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It's their opportunity," she added.

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