Legacy of past cannot be obstacle to dealing with present or building new future — Adams
Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams TD has said that the legacy of conflict cannot be an obstacle to dealing with the present or to building a new future for everyone. He reiterated his party’s call for an independent international based process to deal with the past.
Mr Adams was speaking following an interview with BBC’s Sunday Sequence programme which discussed how to deal with the legacy of the past.
Gerry Adams said:
“The Good Friday Agreement is now 15 years old. For most people it represented an end to war and the triumph of dialogue over violent conflict. The Agreement, endorsed by the vast majority of the population of this island, signalled a new beginning.
“Unfortunately the issue of the past, and of truth and reconciliation has not made the progress it should have since the Agreement was achieved.
“Sinn Féin has proposed an independent international based process to deal with the past. The fact is that none of the participants to the conflict can be responsible for creating such a process.
“The British Government has refused so far, to agree on any mechanism that can deal with this issue and the Irish Government has made no real effort to establish a viable truth recovery process. This is not acceptable.
“The past cannot be an obstacle to dealing with the present or a pretext for refusing to build a new future. While republicans recognise the difficulties confronting all of us in dealing with this issue we are not daunted by it. Nor should anyone be.
“It is necessary that in coming to the issue of truth and reconciliation that we all recognise that there are many different narratives to this story. We live in a divided society with different, contradictory political allegiances. There are different perspectives on the causes of the conflict, what happened and who was responsible.
“The role and actions of all combatant organisations must be fully considered, including government, state agencies and the legal and judicial system.
“Paramount in all of this must be the views of victims and survivors. All victims must be treated on an equal basis. The views of the many thousand victims and survivors who have remained silent must also be heard.”