Emma Little-Pengelly’s comments on the ongoing consultation on the Draft Stormont House Agreement Bill deserve a response (Legacy consultation is about listening to victims,’ Aug 1 2018).
One would be forgiven for thinking that she and her party had nothing to do with the document. The reality is rather different.
As the Secretary of State’s forward to the consultation document states:
“The UK Government has engaged with all of the main political parties in Northern Ireland to produce draft proposals on how to take forward implementation of the Stormont House Agreement.”
This consultation is on legislation to implement the Stormont House Agreement. Following the Stormont House Agreement the then DUP leader said the deal was “as much as and more than we have ever been able to do on these issues in the past. So it is a very significant agreement”.
The Fresh Start Agreement of 2015 was announced to great fanfare by the DUP and Sinn Fein. It stated: “These talks were convened to address the implementation of the Stormont House Agreement (SHA) of 23 December 2014.”
So to imply, as Mrs Pengelly does, that the DUP’s hands are clean on this issue and they are simply seeking views on the legislation is, frankly, nonsense.
The DUP’s fingerprints are all over these proposals, something Mrs Pengelly very well knows given that she has been a key player when it comes to legacy issues in the DUP talks team for a number of years.
Having said all that if, following the roasting the proposals got on Monday evening by innocent victims, the DUP are now backpedaling well and good because they are seriously flawed and designed to drag the good name of the RUC and UDR through the gutter while letting terrorists off the hook.
It’s incumbent, however, on the DUP to do more than just write a damage limitation platform piece for the News Letter. They and all unionists must, reject the proposals and resist their implementation with every fibre of their being.
Samuel Morrison, Traditional Unionist, Dromore, Co Down