CEO of victims’ service stands down from post

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The head of the Victims and Survivors Service has left her post.

It emerged yesterday that Anne Dorbie stood down from her post as chief executive on Friday.

It was set up in 2012, and handles things like funding for victims’ groups and payments to individuals who have been left hurt and traumatised by the Troubles.

The service has come under strong criticism in the past, with one committee last October hearing that it was not “fit for purpose”.

Victims’ campaigner Raymond McCord said “victims won’t shed tears” over this latest development.

A statement from a PR woman acting for the service said: “Anne Dorbie has recently left her position as CEO of VSS. Margaret Bateson has now been appointed as Acting CEO and VSS work continues as normal. VSS would like to take this opportunity to thank Anne for her service and wish her the very best for the future”.

Acting CEO Ms Bateson was VSS’ Head of Programmes and Corporate Services.

The spokeswoman said Ms Dorbie’s departure had been by “mutual agreement”.

Asked the reason behind the departure, the spokeswoman said she could not go beyond the statement which had been issued.

It followed the standing down of chairman Peter Gay in recent weeks for personal reasons.

In October last year, DUP MLA Jimmy Spratt had excoriated the service for not returning victims’ phone calls during a Stormont committee hearing.

Ms Dorbie said at the time they had been “overwhelmed” for a period of three months, but said that the service was indeed “fit for purpose”.