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Our inquiry 'industry' is a new propaganda war

After the ceasefires, the news got rather boring and mundane. Sensational atrocities to capture the headlines became few and far between.

It was all routine stuff now and people lost interest. Then, to the rescue, came revisionism, historical inquiries and the search for truth and justice for victims.

This search became a new war where each side promoted conflicting views of truth and justice. Republicans wished to expose the corrupt forces of the British state colluding against innocent nationalists and this in many ways, apparently, justified the activities of the IRA.

On the other side, unionists felt obliged to defend the revisionism by reminding us all of what the IRA did in this dirty little war. So a new industry has developed: inquiry teams, solicitors, ex- detectives, human rights groups and the media now had new opportunities to help in the search for 'truth and justice'.

We will see very little truth or justice emerge. For the vast majority of silent victims, bitter, painful memories will return. 'High- profile' victims' families may be exploited in what sometimes seems like a propaganda war.

I thought we were trying to forget, or at least learn from, the past; resolve our differences peacefully, move on and give a new generation in Northern Ireland a chance to live without hatred.

But we can't, it seems, help ourselves.

HAROLD BROOKS

Belfast

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