Stormont clarity needed on past

Have the five main parties at Stormont agreed 'The Past' part of the SHA?
Have the five main parties at Stormont agreed 'The Past' part of the SHA?

Stormont along with the two Sovereign governments appear to be pressing fast forward on the implementation of the structures which were contained within the Stormont House Agreement (of course only skeleton details were included).

Victims and survivors have been almost frozen out of the debate which is deja vu for many – remember the Maze?



The political system attempted to usher that project through despite the overwhelming opposition that existed within the victim and survivor constituency (and indeed broader society right across the political and religious spectrums). That ‘political project’ was halted by ordinary people (particularly victims and survivors) but has not yet been fully defeated.

Innocent Victims United (IVU) asks: What legitimacy have the Executive parties along with the sovereign UK and R.o.I governments got to press ahead with areas of the Stormont House ‘Agreement’ (SHA) in the absence of there being an overall consensus agreement across all the areas contained within the document?

Does the Historical Investigations Unit (HIU) process signal a genuine effort on the part of the UK and R.o.I states to disclose information and records which have the potential to bring about criminal prosecutions or is the structure yet another smoke and mirrors attempt to con victims and survivors? Has the subversion of our criminal justice system ended or is it full steam ahead for more of the same?

Have the leaders of the Executive parties signed off on and agreed the implementation of the full contents of ‘The Past’ section within the SHA? If so, what legitimacy have three of these five party leaders got for doing so given that their own party structures failed to ratify the SHA?

The recently launched Department of Justice (DOJ) consultation on use by HIU of DNA and fingerprints data is a clear indication that detailed discussions have taken place concerning the finer minutiae of the HIU’s proposed operations. We can but presume that governance issues including staffing of the unit has also taken place? And that there has been sign off by the five party leaders that a parallel police force will be permitted to operate (the only region of the UK where this would be the case)

All the public discourse post the SHA has been about welfare reform - the pounds, the shillings and the pence. Are people’s eyes on the structures that are quietly being manufactured and caressed by those intent on furthering their ‘loaded’ interpretation of the past or is it a case that some are drifting towards again sleeping at the wheel as was the case with the On the Run Administrative Scheme fiasco?

Victims and survivors’ interests must at long last champion the interests of political expediency.

Kenny Donaldson, IVU, Lisnaskea