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Anger at rejection of truth consultation

1 March, 2005

Sinn Féin North Antrim MLA Philip McGuigan has expressed concerns at the response of British Secretary of State Paul Murphy to the needs of victims and his seeming rejection of an independent truth process.

Mr McGuigan said:

"What Paul Murphy has said today in relation to a victim's commissioner, a victim's forum and a truth process is both contradictory and divisive.

"On the one hand Paul Murphy is recognising the need to deal with the difficulties faced by victims of the conflict while at the same time rejecting the need to create a independent process and framework to allow people to fully deal with the past and the issues of healing and truth.

"The British government needs to publicly recognise that it is a key protagonist and acknowledge its role in creating and maintaining the conflict.

"Many will believe that the real motive behind Paul Murphy's decision to put a truth process on the long finger is a desire to try and hide the role of the British state in the murder of citizens here both directly and through its policy of collusion.

"Paul Murphy acknowledges that many do not trust the role of the British government in all of this. The logical next step would be for the process to be entirely independent of the British government.

"For any process to genuinely deal with the needs of victims and survivors it must also deal with the issues of truth, justice, healing and the need to understand the why there was such a terrible and devastating conflict on this island." ENDS

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