Sinn Fein’s response to the legacy proposals is an extraordinary document demonstrating as it does a complete lack of awareness of what republicans could contribute.
There’s the myopia, for instance, when the document talks about ‘the state’s role in perpetuating and sustaining the conflict’ — one wonders where republicans’ responsibility for 60% of the deaths features in Sinn Fein’s collective conscience.
The wilful blindness extends to platitudes about the need for narratives to be acknowledged and for ‘all relevant material’ to be made available to academics.
However, there is no commitment to republicans practising ‘full disclosure’.
The cynical refusal to acknowledge its substantial and overwhelming part in the sordid campaign of assassinations and bombings that constituted the ‘Troubles’ is breathtaking.
The past is no longer simply being whitewashed, the Sinn Fein approach to legacy proposals means erasing it utterly.
This can’t simply be miscalculation, the issues have been worked over for too long: Sinn Fein seem to have learned nothing but forgotten nothing from the legacy debate.
Dr Cillian McGrattan, Lecturer in Politics, University of Ulster