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Sinn Féin support work of Victims umbrella group

14 January, 2008

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has paid tribute the contribution of an umbrella group representing over 1,100 victims of the conflict in working to find a way forward in dealing with the issue of truth and the past.

The consortium of groups represent the families of over 1,100 victims of the conflict across Ireland and include The Pat Finucane Centre, Relatives for Justice, Justice for the Forgotten, Ardoyne Commemoration Project, An Fhirinne, and Firinne Fermanagh.

Mr Adams said:

"Sinn Fein welcomes this important contribution made by the victims group today on the issue of truth recovery. The groups that have come together are to be commended for their dedication and commitment to the victims cause over the decades and in the enormous work on this particular statement calling for the establishment of an independent, international commission to deal with the past.

"Sinn Fein is committed to finding a way forward on this issue. We accept that dealing with legacy issues is an onerous task. However, it is critically important that the past is dealt with and a mechanism found which treats all victims equally and allows families of victims an avenue to acknowledgement, apology and truth. We are keen to assist such a process.

"We believe the formation of this mechanism is the duty and responsibility of all political parties and wider civic society. Political posturing and political self-interest cannot be allowed to be an obstacle to moving this situation forward. All of us have a responsibility to create the circumstances through which the needs of all victims are met.

"The victims groups in their recent statement have provided a guide to this task. There is a responsibility on all who are interested in the victims issue to respond positively to this work and properly discuss and lay out a template to deal with the legacy of the conflict." ENDS

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