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There’s no going back

Blueprint for tackling our violent history

The Shankill bomb attrocity
The Shankill bomb attrocity
Images from the Belfast Telegraph Troubles Gallery IRA checkpoint, the early 1970's
IRA Bomb attack on the La Mon House Hotel
La Mon House Hotel Provisional IRA Bomb Victim, Sandra Morris
La Mon House Hotel Provisional IRA Bomb Victim, Carol Mills
La Mon House Hotel Provisional IRA Bomb Victim, Christine Lockhart
SDLP press conference with John Hume, Gerry Fitt, Austin Currie and Paddy Devlin. 11/09/75
Behind the barbed wire of long kesh internment camp are SDLP MPs(from left)Paddy Devlin, Austin Currie, John Hume and Ivan Cooper. They were visiting internees. 21/09/71
Billy Wright ,loyalist fanatic who was shot dead in the Maze Prison, was leader of the renegade Loyalist Volunteer Force
Ulster Vanguard Movement: Ulster Vanguard Association Rally at Stormont. 29/03/72
William Craig:Leader of the Vanguard Unionist Progressive party.
Ulster Vanguard Movement: A section of the crowd at the Vanguard Association Rally at Ormeau Park. 18/03/72
Ulster Defence Association/U.D.A: 1972. Delegates at the talks between Vanguard, Ulster Defence Association and the Loyalist Association of Workers.
Ulster Vanguard Movement:September 1972.
A man receiving attention during the shooting incident in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, which became known as Bloody Sunday, January 31, 1972.
Scenes from 'Bloody Sunday' in Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Stewart Gardner, Argylls second lieutenant of Dollar shot dead at Crossmaglen, Co Armagh. September 22nd 1972.
Government of Northern Ireland: The Executive. December 1973.
The Belfast Telegraph Troubles Gallery
The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.
The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.
The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.
The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.
Pictured is Jimmy Stewart, who lost both legs in the Abercorn Restaurant explosion. The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.
A casualty of the riots in Northern Ireland in 1972
Northern Ireland murder victim Irene Andrews who was murdered by John White on the 26th June 1973.
Belfast Fire Brigade Station officer McCleery, being carried from a bomb explosion, Cromac Street, circa 1971.
Peter Robinson of the DUP pictured in the Israeli Border Area with AK47 rifles while on a fact finding mission to the Middle East. Pacemaker Press Intl. Dec. 1984
Armed soldiers behind a wall on Londonderry's Bogside.
John Hume is detained by soldiers during a civil rights protest in Londonderry in August 1971.
John Hume is detained by soldiers during a civil rights protest in Londonderry in August 1971.
Main Street Claudy in August 1972 when three Provisional IRA car bombs exploded without warning, killing 9 local people and injuring many others.
John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono raise their fists as they join a protest in front of British Overseas Airways Corp. offices in New York on Fifth Avenue, Feb 5th 1972. The demonstrators called for the withdrawal of British troops from Northern Ireland.
Funeral of Walter Moore, who was shot while in a shop at the rear of Oldpark RUC base, Oldpark Road Belfast
Gordon Wilson. Irish Senator who's daughter Marie was a victim of the Ennieskillen Remembrance Day explosion in 1987. Pictured with his grandson Timothy.
The funeral of Marie Wilson, killed along with 10 others in no warning explosion during a Remembrance Day Service at Enniskillen Cenotaph. 8/11/1987
William Hughes who was killed in shooting incident due to a mistake by gunmen. The car they were sitting in near Coagh, Co. Tyrone looked like a police car. In the hail of gunfire directed at the car, William Hughes died. His daughter Ann and her fiance Malachy Foye were wounded.
Anglo Irish Agreement Protest Rally outside Belfast City Hall, with Unionists showing a united front. 'Ulster Says No'. 10/12/1985
The scene outside Graham's bookmakers shop, North Queen Street after a shooting where five men were injured. 29/04/1993
The scene outside Graham's bookmakers shop, North Queen Street after a shooting where five men were injured. 29/04/1993
Hugh O'Toole, owner of O'Tooles Bar (The Heights), Loughinisland, in which six men were shot dead watching the 1994 World Cup on television.
Reggie and Walter Chapman: Protestant brothers brutally murdered on a lonely roadside in S. Armagh. Kingsmill Massacre/Shooting. 5/1/1976. Their Bessbrook funeral. 8/1/1976.
Alan Black, a survivor of the Kingsmill, Armagh Massacre/Shooting, when he was shot with his 10 workmates in an ambush on their way home from work by gunmen. 5/1/1976
Unionist protests at visit to Belfast of Charles Haughey, former Taoiseach. Pictured are Peter Robinson, deputy leader of the DUP, intervening as Cedric Wilson is led away from the Europa. 11/4/1990.
Unionist protests at visit to Belfast of Charles Haughey, former Taoiseach. Pictured Rev Ian Paisley. 11/4/1990.
Mr Roddy Connolly of Bray, unveils a plaque at 420 Falls Road, Belfast, where his father, James Connolly, the 1916 leader, lived from 1907-10 while working in the north for the Irish Transport and General Workers Union. Connolly was born 100 years previous to the plague being unveiled (pictured here in 1968). The plaque was donated by MP Mr Gerry Fitt (also pictured).
Lord Gerry Fitt, founding member of SDLP and Civil Rights Organiser. Pic shows Gerry Fitt, then a republican MP, is held by police as the Civil Rights demonstrators clash with them in Duke Street, Londonderry. Pic includes nationalist leader Eddie mcAteer (centre) caught up in the struggle. 7/10/1968.
Ronnie Flanagan, former RUC chief constable
Richard Alan Baird (28) killed by a remote controlled bomb hidden in a parked van. The bomb was detonated when a RUC mobile patrol drove past in Bessbrook Co. Armagh. Also killed in the blast were Paul Gray (25) , Robert Lockhast (44) and Noel Webb (30) 17/4/1979
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams pictured canvassing with Martin McGuinness, Alex Maskey and Danny Morrison shortly after he was shot and injured in a UDA gun attack in Belfast city centre.
Scene where Michael Tighe (17) was shot dead by RUC when found with rifles in a shed in Lurgan. 24/11/1982.
An army bomb disposal expert in flameproof suit and padded body armour tackles an incendiary bomb at a clothing shop in the cetre of Belfast in 1984.
Crumlin Road Jail. The scene outside as traffic on the Crumlin road is searched by the RUC following the escape. 17/11/1971
RUC Constable Michael Frederick Leslie Marshall, killed in an IRA ambush in Beleek. Forensics examine Constable Marshall's Sierra 21.10.1989
A man is taken away by troops in the Markets area, Belfast as searches followed vicious shooting battles between gunmen and army. 11/8/1971.
Sir John Herman, former RUC chief constable and his bride Sylvia
Ian Paisley confronts an RUC officer when refused access to Duke Street where the Civil Rights parade went on. 10/10/1988
RUC constable Victor Arbuckle who was shot during street disturbances on the Shankill Road Belfast. He was the first RUC man killed in the troubles. October 1969
Mrs Arbuckle, wife of constable Victor Arbuckle who was shot during the Shankill Road riots receives the Union Jack which covered the coffin during the funeral service at Roselawn Cemetry
Miami Showband massacre... A Ford Escort which was one of the cars used by loyalist gunmen, is left abandoned near the murder scene. 31/7/1975
Miami Showband
Darkley (Mountain Lodge Pentecostal Hall). The scene where three elders were shot dead by the INLA. The terrorists broke in during a church service. 20/11/1983
The children who escaped death by inches at Darkley, from left, Graham Ritchie, Helen Wilson, Nigel Wilson, Andrew Reid (standing) and Keith Ritchie, photographed the day after the INLA attack.
Sir John Hermon, the former Chief Constable of the RUC at the funeral of the RUC's 100th victim of the Troubles, Constable Neill Quinn. Newry 22/6/1081
Betty Williams, former leader of the NI Peace People, pictured with Mairead Corrigan.
UDA members being carried in a Land Rover along the Shankill Road. 22/05/72.
A soldier recieves first aid after being injured by debris after a car bomb exploded on the Crumlin Road. 29/05/72
Riots in Belfast.
UDR colleagues fire a volley of shots over the grave of Private Steven Smart, at Movilla Cemetary. Private Smart was killed along with three others after an IRA bomb blew up their Land Rover in Downpatrick. 13/04/90
Ballgawley Bus Bomb. The scene of the explosion. 20/08/88
Warrenpoint (Narrow Water Castle) where 18 soldiers were killed 27/8/1979. A grim reconstruction of the scene at narrow water, Warrenpoint. An Army helicopter flies in past a replica of the hay lorry which hid the first bomb. 31/8/1979.
Lisburn Fun Run, 6 soldiers killed. All that ramains of their van after a IRA bomb explosion. 15/6/1988.
Bomb blast at the Seaforde Street army post on Belfast's Newtownards Road. 17/09/1971
Bomb making lessons in the maze prison.
Rose and Crown Bar. Two men were killed and 27 injured when a bomb went off in the hallway of the bar. 2nd May 1974
North Street Arcade. A bomb exploded prematurely, killing four people and injuring twenty. 13th January 1976.
Ann Street. A huge bomb planted in a car had exploded causing extensive damage. 28th May 1972.
Abercorn Restaurant. The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn , on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.
Abercorn Restaurant. The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn , on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.
Abercorn Restaurant bomb. Tom McFarlane
Abercorn Restaurant bomb. Rosaleen McNern (right) who lost both legs, an arm and an eye - her sister Jennifer (left) lost both legs.
Sir Edward Carson inspecting the U.V.F 1913
Glory days: Sir Edward Carson rallying the unionist faithful
RUC policeman, DS John Bennison killed in booby trap car bomb in the grounds of Magee College, Londonderry. The coffin is carried from his home at Tyler Avenue, Limavady. 23.3.1987
The funeral of DI Austin Wilson, an RUC man killed in a booby trap car bomb in the grounds of Magee College, Londonderry. 23.3.1987
A child lies by a litter bin after an IRA bomb blast in Warrington town centre 1993
Steel helmeted police at a burning barricade across Shankill Road, Belfast, littered with stones and debris after a spree of rioting. 1969
Loyalists waving a Union Jack surround Home Secretary James Callaghan on the Shankill Road, Belfast. 28/8/1969.
The body of Joseph Donegan, discovered in an entry off Battenberg Street in Belfast's Shankill Road area, lies covered by a blanket. 25/10/1982.
Harry Ward was shot dead in The Diamond Jubilee Bar, Shankill Road, Belfast October 1991. Pictured is his sister Sadie, being led away from the scene.
Troops and UDA members on joint patrol at Clon Duff Drive in Castlereagh Road area of Belfast, 1972.
The funeral of RUC man William Russell, shot while investgating a burglary at the Avoca Shopping Centre, Andersontown, Belfast
Hunger striker Bobby Sands coffin, flanked by an IRA colour party, leaving his mother's home in Twinbrook.
Bobby Sands' son Robert Gerald holds his mother's hand at the funeral of his father Bobby in west Belfast flanked by Masked IRA men. Picture by Martin Wright
Army engineers take away the fallen statue of the famous Protestant minister The Rev 'Roaring Hugh Hanna' after an early morning IRA bomb blast at Carlisle Circus. 3/3/1970
Newly elected DUP MP Peter Robinson and his wife Iris. 4/5/1979
Peter Robinson about to invade the small village of Clontibret, Co Monaghan, in 1986.
Gerry Adams and Brendan Hughes in Long Kesh
Martin McGuinness in Derry's Bogside at a press conference. 1971
Members of the UDA provide an escort at the funeral of 30 year old John Lunnen Brown, a UDA volunteer, of Blackmountain Park, Springmartin. 01/07/72.
Northern Ireland Troubles Gallery: Mrs Mary Meehan who was shot by the army in Cape Street, 23rd october 1971. Family photo.
Northern Ireland Troubles Gallery: Scots Guardsman, Paul Nicholls, from Caithness, killed by an IRA sniper on the Falls Road, Belfast. 1971
Scene of the IRA bomb and shooting attack at Loughall Police Station which resulted in 8 IRA and 1 Civilian being killed.
Supporters of the UDA preparing food to be used by UDA members in the Shankill Road area. 02/07/72
A UDA checkpoint barrier at Moat Road. 08/06/72
UDA on the streets of Londonderry. 30/09/72
Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney, who spent 53 days on IRA hunger strike.
Some of the 24 Ulsterbuses which were burnt out after an IRA attack on the depot in Armagh. 28/4/1982.
Mourners panicking at Milltown Cemetery, Belfast, after a gun and bomb attack by Michael Stone which left three people dead and four seriously injured during the funerals of three IRA membes shot dead in Gibraltar. 1988
Joan Travers and her daughter Ann at the funeral of her other daughter, Mary, shot dead by IRA gunmen in Windsor Avenue, Belfast. while walking home from Mass with her father Judge Tom Travers. 1984
Ian Paisley at the scene of the IRA motar attack on Newry Police Station. which killed 9 officers. 28/2/1985.
President of Sinn Fein Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness at the funeral of Patrick Kelly . 1987
Martin Meehan (centre) with Gerry Adams at a funeral in Belfast in 1971 of a Belfast IRA commander.
UDA men line up for inspection at Bloomfield before the march. 30/09/72
Reverend Martin Smyth and Billy Hull with UDA leaders. 1972
The Shankill Road member. 1972
A man is frisked by masked members of the UDA at a barricade on the Lisburn Road end of Sandy Row. 1972
Belfast, Bloody Friday, 21 July, 1972, the IRA set off 26 explosions in Belfast, which killed 11 people and injured 130. 7 people were killed in Oxford Street bus station and 4 at a shopping centre on the Cavehill Road.
Riots in Belfast, 1969
A man talks to soldiers over the barricade, in Divis Street, Belfast. 16/8/1969
Respects are paid to the victims of Bloody Friday, Oxford Street, Belfast
Rioting in Belfast, 1962
A family flee their home during rioting in Belfast 1969
Belfast 1969
British soldiers patrol Belfast in 1969
Belfast City Hall bombed. 23/5/1994.
UDA barricades off Ainsworth Avenue. 04/07/72
September 2005 Army landrovers burn during serious rioting in a loyalist area of west Belfast on Saturday following the re-routing of an Orange Order march. Automatic gunfire and blast bombs were used against the police and army and three armoured military vehicles were destroyed by the rioters. Picture by Crispin Rodwell
Drumcree by Tony Hendron
December 1971 An ambulance man carries the body of baby Colin Nicholl from the wreckage of the Balmoral Furnishing Company on the Shankill Road in Belfast following a 'no warning' Provisional IRA bomb which killed 2 babies and 2 adults as well as injuring scores of other people on a Saturday afternoon - just before Christmas. Picture by Alan Lewis
Tarred, feathered and tied to a lamppost. Picture by Trevor Dickson
Thomas McMullan's 2001 shot of a British Army robot detonating a van bomb.
Fr Daly waving a bloody handkerchief as he and several others carry the fatally wounded Jackie Duddy, 17, past British soldiers on January 30, 1972, known as Bloody Sunday. Picture by Stanley Matchett
Loyalist murderer Michael stone storms Stormont
August 1994 A young boy and soldier on the Springfield Road in west Belfast Picture by Pacemaker
Picture by Gerry Fitzgerald
April 1977 Gerry Fitt MP showing how he defended his home with a pistol after a mob attacked it. Picture by Charles Cockcroft
Former DUP leader Ian Paisley reacts to questioning from the media outside Castle Buildings
2000 A young girl looks on as Loyalist Paramilataries carry the remains of her father and their commander through the streets of Tigers Bay in north Belfast after he was was killed by Republicans. Picture by Cathal McNaughton
April 1984 Man is searched by the British Army on Belfast's Falls Road as people go about their businness, hardly seeming to register that this was happening. Picture by Brendan Murphy
July 2001 An RUC man lies injured during a riot in Ardoyne before an Orange parade returns passed a Nationalist area on the 12th July 2001. Picture by Ann McManus
The Funeral of the Quinn Children Ballymoney. Picture by Alan McMullan
August 1998 A river of blood runs across the road as security forces and emergency services recover bodies from the scene of the Omagh Bomb. The 'Real IRA' carried out the no-warning attack on shoppers in the crowded County Tyrone market town killing 30 people (including unborn 8 month term twins). Picture by Photopress
An impromptu street demonstration in the Ravenhill area of east Belfast celebrates the collapse of the Power Sharing Executive following a loyalist wave of strikes and blockades acroos Northern Ireland. Picture by Justin Kernoghan
December 2002 Six year old twins Sean and Dean Fegan peer through the hole where their letterbox had been following an explosion which rocked their home early this morning in an attack claimed this afternoon by the loyalist Red Hand Defenders who had put a pipe bomb through their letterbox. The blast happened in a Catholic area of Oldpark Road in north Belfast. Picture by Justin Kernoghan
August 1984 John 'Sean' Downes clutches his chest as he is fatally wounded by a plastic bullet. The incident occured after police moved in to try to arrest Noraid fund raiser Martin Galvin who was the subject of a UK exclusion order and who had just been paraded by Sinn Fein on a platform outside Connolly House in Andersonstown. Picture By Alan Lewis
June 1997 Louis Johnston (7), in tears as he follows his dad's coffin from the family church in Lisburn, County Antrim. Constable David Johnston was one of two RUC community officers shot dead by the Provisional IRA in Lurgan, County Armagh just days before the IRA ceasefire was announced. Picture by Alan Lewis
Hundreds of thousands of Unionists crowded Belfast City Centre in a huge "Ulster Says No" rally against power sharing after a call by the Rev Ian Paisley and other Unionist leaders of the time. Picture by Photopress
A bomb explodes in a stationary shop in Royal Avenue, Belfast Picture by Fred Hoare
A man lies injured on the ground after being caught in a bomb explosion in Donegall Street, Belfast. Picture by Fred Hoare
Fred Hoare captures a confrontation between police and republicans in Belfast
A youth is arrested at gunpoint by a Paratrooper in Derry on Bloody Sunday Picture by Fred Hoare
The Last Gunman by Brendan Murphy, July 1997. An IRA man on the Lower Ormeau area fires at a police roadblock on the bridge across the River Lagan. Within weeks, the IRA declared its second ceasefire.
July 2002 Children cover their ears and scream as UFF gunmen fire a volleys of shots on the Lower Shankill Road in Belfast as a giant bonfire lights up the area during the traditional celebrations of the eve of the "Twelfth". Picture by Alan Lewis
Parents escort their children to Holy Cross Girls’ Primary School during a Loyalist protest in 2001. Picture by Justin Kernoghan
A mother cries on her son's shoulder as he relays the tale of his cruel beating by loyalist paramilitaries in Antrim. Picture by John Taggart
Belfast's Milltown Cemetery comes under attack by UDA man Michael Stone, during the funerals of three Provisional IRA members. Picture by Bobby Ingram
Fire crews tackling a blaze in Queen Street, Belfast in 1977. The fire was caused by a bomb. Photograph by Bobby Ingram.
A man's body is recovered after the Enniskillen Bomb. Picture by Raymond Humphreys
August 2005
Lord Fitt, (then Gerry), standing forelornly in the burnt out remains of his home on the Antrim Road in Belfast. He had just flown in from London to see the damage caused by a rampaging republican mob from the nearby New Lodge Road area. He was elevated to the House of Lords shortly after this incident. He likened the mob to the 'Waffen SS' youth movement in Nazi Germany.
Photograph: Justin Kernoghan
A young boy plays against a wall in North Belfast on the eve of the 1994 IRA ceasefire. Picture by Crispin Rodwell

By Noel McAdam

A road map for tackling the legacy of Northern Ireland’s 30 years of violence and moving towards a more peaceful future was unveiled today.

The comprehensive blueprint of the Consultative Group on the Past – chaired by ex-Church of Ireland primate Lord Eames and former Policing Board vice chairman Denis Bradley – attempted to demonstrate how the past can be dealt with but appealed for people not to rush to judgment.

As the political controversy over proposed payments to the families of victims gathered momentum, co-author Lord Eames urged people to take weeks and months to reflect and said: “This is too important an issue for instant responses.”

The Group warned, however, that to continue the already highly-politicised debate on defining victims and the hierarchy of victims is “both fruitless and self-defeating”.

The true hierarchy it said was the level of loss and suffering experienced – the difference between having a family member killed or severely injured against a car destroyed or a house damaged.

But they also warned some victims groups are contributing to divisions and some “are little more than mini political parties”.

On the single most controversial proposal – the one-off £12,000 recognition payment – the report suggests the only alternative would have been to recommend a further review of compensation.

But the Group said it was painfully aware no amount of recompense “will ever make things right” so decided against a review and believed “all families of those who died should receive recognition of their suffering regardless of past compensation payments.”

They then recommend the payments, funded by the British Government, are given to the nearest relative of those who died as a result of the confict from January 1966.

The nearest relative extends from spouses, through children and siblings to grandparents, uncles and aunts, nephews and nieces and would be evenly divided between eligible applicants.

The Group said to allow the money to be made quickly, an existing organisation – which it does not name – should process the ex-gratia payments which would be tax free and not affect social security benefits or pensions.

Those eligible would include the closest relatives of people killed as a direct result of either paramilitary group or security force action, or accidental death from the same sources but the report says the list “is not exhaustive” and the administrator of the scheme “should be able to show flexibility in deciding on payments”.

The 190-page report said concerns about compensation related to the amounts paid to families in the 1970s and 1980s and there was almost unani

mous agreement in the consultations that many payments were inadequate “not least because compensation was primarily based on loss of earnings and did not take into account the loss felt by the family”.

The Group recommends a £160m Legacy Commission, headed by an international figure, which would take over the work of the Historical Enquiries Team and conduct “a process of information recovery” which would often be in private.

At the end of its five-year mandate, a Reconciliation Forum would take the lead in iniatiating a cermony remem

bering the past and the Commission would challenge political parties and remnant paramilitary groups to sign a declaration they will never again kill or injure others.

It would also, for example, engage with the Christian churches which the report said had “failed to make a sustained united impact during the conflict” to encourage them to consider and re-think their contribution to a non-sectarian future.

The Group fully supports an annual day of reflection, possibly June 21, when the First Ministers would together give an address but also said a shared memorial cannot be agreed “at this time”.

The report concluded some serious questions remain on the issue of collusion, comments there were many more people recruited as informers than was imagined at the time and suggests those with conflict-related convictions should be given equal access to jobs and services.

“Any society moving forward from conflict has no choice but to address the separations that exist between its people,” the report said.“Responsibility for the future lies not only with those who were directly involved in the conflict, but with every sector of society.”

Secretary of State Shaun Woodward was due to be in Dublin this morning for a pre-arranged meeting on a wide-range of issues, including the Eames/Bradley report, with the Republic’s foreign affairs minister Micheal Martin. It was expected to be the first chance for both governments to respond formally to the report.

Mr Woodward will also release a written statement to parliament on the controversial recommendations, although the Government will not make any substantive report for some months.

It is understood, however, that the London government is keen to reinforce its view that Northern Ireland’s future success is not just dependent on political stability but on dealing with the legacy of its past and the reaching of a genuine consensus.

Read the full report here [pdf 640 KB]

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph