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Sinn Féin reps comment following joint-sitting of Health and Jutsice Committees

23 September, 2010 - by Raymond McCartney, Michelle O'Neill

Sinn Féin MLA and deputy chair of the Assembly’s Health Committee Michelle O’Neill has today reiterated her party’s position that the victims of abuse in Donagh must be central to all actions carried out in relation to the outstanding issues of the case.

Ms O’Neill was commenting after she formally proposed a Barrister-led review into the evidence brought before both the Health and Justice Committees in relation to this case at this morning’s meeting.

Speaking in the Assembly, where she was joined by the deputy chair of the Justice Committee Raymond McCartney MLA, Ms O’Neill said;

“What is clear from today’s joint meeting is that we have got no further on in assisting the victims of abuse in Donagh nor in getting answers to outstanding questions of extreme importance in relation to the location of the McDermott Brothers in the village.

I moved to formally propose a Barrister be brought in for a short, distinct and victim-led review of these matters, which would have seen recommendations brought forward in relation to the evidence presented to both committees in relation to the case over a period of several weeks.

The rational for this was to bring a speedy conclusion for the victims but also, to cut through the opposing interpretations of the law which have seen the outstanding concerns in relation to the Donagh case being able to be bandied about from one department to another.

We decided to hold the proposal today although it remains firmly on the table for next weeks follow-up session of the Health and Justice committees, where both Ministers will again appear.

Sinn Féin remain committed to ensuring that we achieve answers and help begin the process of healing in what has been a tremendously traumatic and difficult time for the victims and survivors.” CRÍOCH

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