Fermanagh Ulster Unionist MLA: ‘I am wondering why victim meetings on legacy are closed’

The legacy consultation relates to structures that were approved in outline at Stormont House in 2014.   'Photo by Stephen Hamilton / Press Eye
The legacy consultation relates to structures that were approved in outline at Stormont House in 2014. 'Photo by Stephen Hamilton / Press Eye

I am wondering why the Commission for Victims and Survivors (CVS) are not holding open public events to gauge opinion on the public consultation on legacy.

The role of the CVS is:

Letter to the editor

Letter to the editor

Being the primary source of advice to government on victims and survivors issues;

Having responsibility for the strategic assessment of need; and

Being responsible for ensuring that the correct structures are in place to meet those needs and identify gaps in provision,

I understand the CVS should be seeking as wide a range of views as possible.

Therefore I am not sure why the organisation have embarked on ‘closed-group sessions’ on the legacy consultations, whereby interested people must register?

I note that Fermanagh and Omagh District Council have issued information about the Fermanagh event and have stated that ‘spaces at this focus group are limited’ and that people who would like to attend should contact the CVS.

I am wondering what the reasons are that this process is being held in closed sessions and not providing an opportunity for the wider public to attend and give their views.

When the legacy consultation was launched the CVS encouraged the public to consider the document and respond, if they really want such engagement they have their own meetings as publicly accessible as possible.

Rosemary Barton, Ulster Unionist MLA, Fermanagh