Ken Funston: Consultation findings fail to reflect depth of concerns about the legacy proposals

The Northern Ireland Office consultation on the proposals for legacy
The Northern Ireland Office consultation on the proposals for legacy
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We have waited for a year to see any type of response to the legacy consultation from the Northern Ireland Office (NIO).

The very broad detail from it yesterday gives very little understanding to the depth of feeling that these proposals are not fit for purpose.

We cannot move forward until there are drastic changes to what has been proposed that will allow the many crimes of the past to be investigated in a way that does not discriminate against one section of our community.

There are representatives of other groups claiming ownership of a high number of responses to the consultation. I am unsighted as to the validity of the claim, and to the form that those responses took.

As the advocacy manager at SEFF, any of the forms I had sight of was a full completion of the form, not a mere signature to a petition.

Individuals spent many hours completing the forms, answering the questions in their totality.

I hope the themes taken from those forms, and the returns from Innocent Victims United (IVU) Groups, will help to mould the thought process of the NIO that there must be a fundamental rethink of the proposals, but IVU members are deeply concerned that the they will just ignore our views and proceed with the proposals.

The new chief constable has made it clear he does not wish to have responsibility for legacy investigations.

The reality is that legacy is serious crime, and that is the responsibility of the police to investigate.

Ken Funston,

South East Fermanagh Foundation (SEFF) Advocacy Services Manager