Legacy consultation: There must be no whitewash, says victims' group

Kenny Donaldson, director of services, SEFF
Kenny Donaldson, director of services, SEFF
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The Northern Ireland Office is set to publish a summary of responses to the public consultation on government proposals to deal with the legacy of the Troubles.

The long-awaited publication of responses to the ‘Addressing the Legacy of Northern Ireland’s Past’ consultation paper is expected to take place at noon tomorrow.

More than 17,000 responses were received during the five-month consultation period last year.

The government’s proposals, which include the creation of an Historical Investigations Unit, an Independent Commission on Information Retrieval and an oral history archive, have been criticised by the Police Federation and victims’ campaigners as “one-sided”.

Representatives of victims and survivors’ group the South East Fermanagh Foundation (SEFF) met with the Secretary of State and NIO officials several weeks ago for a briefing on the consultation responses.

SEFF director of services Kenny Donaldson said there has been “anticipation but also trepidation” at what might be published by the NIO.

“There must be no whitewash of the legitimate concerns which exist,” he said

“Unless there are equal opportunities for innocent victims/survivors of terrorism to pursue justice, truth and accountability as those who allege wrongdoing by the state then the proposals have no value.”

Mr Donaldson said the government must “recalibrate the focus of the proposals” and terrorists, who were responsible for 90% of Troubles deaths, “must come under proportionate focus.”