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SDLP opposition to fast tracking Victims’ legislation Hypocritical - Molloy

31 March, 2008

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Victims Issues, Francie Molloy MLA (Mid-Ulster) has described the SDLP opposition to accelerated passage of the Victims Legislation as contradictory and hypocritical.

He was speaking after the First and Deputy First Minister moved to have Victims' legislation fast tracked through the Assembly.

Mr Molloy said:

"On a recent Television programme, SDLP Minister for Social Development, Margaret Ritchie pledged to Victims Commissioner Designate, Mike Nesbitt that she would 'move heaven and earth' to achieve quick progress for victims and remove all obstacles to himself and the other Commissioners from getting on with the task of representing victims. Yet when she had the opportunity to do so today in an accelerated passage debate she abstained in the vote while her Party colleagues voted against it. It is disappointing to see the SDLP join the Ulster Unionists, Alliance and others in trying to frustrate the work of the Victims Commissioners.

"Grandstanding, petty point scoring and trying to exclude and create hierarchies does the many victims and survivors a complete disservice.

"I want to see victims' put first, and welcome the legislation to allow the four new Victims' Commissioners to get on with their work in meeting the many and diverse needs of victims and survivors." ENDS

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