The commissioners for victims and survivors in the north, Kathryn Stone, today addressed the Oireachtas Committee for the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. The Commissioner outlined the needs of victims and survivors of the conflict and the work and resources delivered in the north to meet those needs.
Speaking after the meeting Sean Crowe TD said;
“The Victims Commissioner recognised the needs and sense of pain shared by all victims regardless of the circumstance of loss. There is need to support the physical, emotional and psychological needs of victims and survivors. This includes support in the quest for truth.
“It is clear that victims in the 26 counties do not have the same levels of support or infrastructure for truth recovery. The government fails to support Justice for the Forgotten which represents the needs of a wide range of victims. That is not good enough. The government needs to ensure equality of treatment between victims north and south.”
Michelle Gildernew MP, who also attended the committee, said;
“Victims and survivors regardless of circumstance deserve equality in supports. This extends beyond their physical needs to their psychological and other supports. In the North we are developing and refining these victim centred services. The same needs to be developed across the island.
“Victims also require support and programmes to assist with information recovery. The recent Haass negotiations sought to develop the information recovery process and should be extended to an all-Ireland basis. Sinn Féin supported the Haass proposals and believes it will go some way to providing information for victims and survivors.”