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Needs of victims central to comprehensive agreement – McGuinness

10 December, 2014 - by Martin McGuinness

Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness has said the needs of victims must be central in a comprehensive agreement on dealing with the past. 

Speaking at a human rights event organised by Relatives for Justice at Queens University Belfast this morning, Mr McGuinness said; 

"In the Hasss/O’Sullivan Talks and indeed the recent negotiations at all times Sinn Fein have sought to put the needs of all victims first. 

"To my mind the blatant refusal from the British government to take responsibility for its role in sustaining and perpetuating the conflict is insulting, shameful and disrespectful to families bereaved by the state.

"It is evident that here has been a sustained and co-ordinated strategy to cover up the state's role in the conflict.  But the truth is being told.  

"The decision by the Irish government to petition Europe to reopen the case of the 'Hooded Men' is another significant step forward. 

"The British government fears the truth. Theresa Villiers fears ordinary people who stand up and be counted. 

"It has been the brave stand for truth from families that has exposed the lies, deceit and propaganda of the British state.

"Sinn Féin remains politically focused on dealing with the past in a human rights compliant manner. 

"This means any process to engage with legacy matters must be independent from all conflict actors – that includes the British government."

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