Stormont deal aids republican re-write of history

The Stormont House Agreement (SHA), which aids the republican re-writing of history, a victims' group fears
The Stormont House Agreement (SHA), which aids the republican re-writing of history, a victims' group fears

The republican movement’s position entering each and every talks process is quite simple; to further their agenda of demonising the state and its’ security forces so as to advance its’ hypothesis that the Northern Ireland state is a failed political entity — everything else is merely window dressing.

With this in mind IVU makes the following observations about the new mechanisms and approaches proposed to ‘Deal with the Past’ as relayed within The Stormont House Agreement.

Why is there a need for Northern Ireland to have an ‘independent parallel police force’ when the rest of the UK doesn’t?

Will former members of the security forces (RUC and UDR) be eligible to work within the ‘newly established Historical Investigations Unit?’

How can it be acceptable for the Policing Board to be the effective ‘employer’ for the HIU given that its’ members include former convicted terrorists who have a major conflict of interest in respect of the past?

Our understanding is that the UK Government is seriously considering withdrawing from the European Convention on Human Rights.

This creates a divergence from commitments made within the Belfast Agreement.

Therefore a removal of powers from the PSNI in policing the past, a beefing up of the Coroners’ inquests system which when understood in collaboration with the HIU and ICIR processes provides the means for judgements to be revisited and the potential for a game changer in the “history of the Troubles,” giving succour to the causation and providing justification for terrorist attacks.

Coroners’ inquests are referenced only once within the ‘Agreement’ (para 31). Currently the law here prevents inquests in Northern Ireland from recording unlawful killings and requires jury verdicts to be unanimous.

Coroners do not have the power to compel disclosure of information from bodies and have to apply to the High Court for a disclosure order.

Within para 31 of ‘SHA’ is written: the Executive will take appropriate steps to improve the way the legacy inquest function is conducted to comply with ECHR Article 2 requirements.

We understand this translating into: the Coroner will be given the legal power to have all UK Government documents disclosed and all witnesses including former security force members compelled to attend.

Recording unlawful killing verdicts where the State are deemed to have killed terrorists instead of arresting them on ‘active service’ (eg Loughgall, Coagh etc) is a core element in their re-writing of history programme.

We require a single police force that polices both the past and present and is adequately resourced.

We also expect a legal system that is accountable to us with the UK Parliament making the law and the Supreme Courts applying that law.

Kenny Donaldson

Innocent Victims United

Lisnaskea, Fermanagh