The Ulster Unionist Party’s Justice Spokesperson, Doug Beattie MC MLA, has given his reaction to the publication of responses to the NIO’s Legacy consultation process and warned that we must not end up with a process whereby those who shout the loudest get their way.
Doug Beattie MC MLA said:
“The summary of responses to the NIO’s Legacy consultation has no analysis, it does not give any conclusions, recommendations or a way forward.
“What it does do is vindicate our stance on the Stormont House Agreement (SHA) legacy mechanisms agreed by Sinn Fein and the DUP.
“We must be careful that we do not end up with a process which gives in to who those shout the loudest rather than seeking to do what is right, and deliver a balanced, fair, equitable and proportionate solution.
“We are not surprised that there is a lot of agreement that the present system for dealing with the past isn’t working, but that does not mean we should accept a replacement solution that is so structurally flawed.
“In order to change the structural flaws, there must be a fundamental change to the SHA legacy proposals, which never enjoyed the support of the Ulster Unionist Party.
“We have previously highlighted the many flaws in the Historical Investigations Unit (HIU) and we welcome the fact that many respondents recognise our concerns that a one-sided process is almost inevitable given that only the State has historical records and that re-writing of history with a focus on the role of the Police and the Army is the aim of republicans.
“We also note the suggestion that the number of cases to be investigated by the HIU could be increased from 1,700 to well over 3,000. This would make the HIU structurally unworkable and still does not include fatalities in Great Britain or do anything for the seriously injured.
“With regard to the proposed Independent Commission for Information Retrieval (ICIR), we would simply refer to the comments by Gerry Adams last weekend at the funeral of former IRA leader Kevin McKenna.
“The part played by republicans like Kevin during the long years of war will never be known. The tale will never be told.”
“As I said at the time, that quote should be the end of any fantasy that republicans will ever engage in a truth process. They demand the truth from others, yet have no intention of providing it themselves. It’s long past time the Government stopped indulging this hypocrisy.”