Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sinn Féin fully supports genuine search for Truth, Acknowledgement, Healing and Closure

8 March, 2005


Sinn Féin representative for Fermanagh Bernice Swift speaking in support of Motion 223 said "The current efforts to end the crisis in the Peace Process, underline the need for any Truth Process to be about learning the lessons of the past so as not to repeat them. A good start would be for the British Government to publicly acknowledge its primary institutional responsibility and to initiate processes for examining its own culpability."

Ms Swift said:

After 3 decades of conflict and 10 years of the peace process, there is now increasing discussion in Ireland about a Truth Recovery process and how it could be structured.

The current efforts to end the crisis in the Peace Process, underline the need for any Truth Process to be about learning the lessons of the past so as not to repeat them.

A good start would be for the British Government to publicly acknowledge its primary institutional responsibility and to initiate processes for examining its own culpability.

When challenged with the TRUTH the British response has always been denial, concealment and cover-up, when presented with irrefutable facts, it lies, loses files, destroys evidence, frustrates inquests, gags the media and issues public interest immunity certificates.

Revelations about Collusion the true nature of Britain's dirty war in Ireland politicises people and undermines British claims to legitimacy, The British would like to introduce a British truth process which would pin the blame on republicans, absolve themselves, end Inquiries and draw a line under the past.

Are we really to expect a British Government to agree to a Truth Process, which would most likely indict senior British politicians, past and present of complicity in the murders of hundreds of people on the island of Ireland?

Sinn Fein fully supports the genuine search for Truth, Acknowledgement, Healing and Closure for the victims and their families.

Sinn Fein has a progressive position on Truth which we can advance with confidence.

In the document we launched in September 03, we called for a focused discussion amongst all the relevant parties, it is crucially important that any agreed process would be independent , International and with NO hierarchy of victims and which examine the role of all the parties to the conflict, including that of the Judiciary, State Institutions and Media.

We have greave concerns about how the British Government is approaching this matter. The NIO claims to be engaged in some form of consultation YET NO Victims groups have been consulted and just this week the Secretary of State Paul Murphy announced the appointment of a Victims Commissioner and his seeming rejection of an independent Truth Process without any consultation? Paul Murphy highlights the whole contradiction in this entire process. In Sinn Fein's view this underlines the need for a completely independent process.

Sinn Fein is not being prescriptive with regard to the issue of Truth Recovery nor are we attached to any particular model of truth recovery, however, as previously stated in the Ard Chomhairle motion, we believe 2 things must now happen if this discussion is to be advanced: 1. The British Government must acknowledge its role in creating and maintaining the conflict in Ireland 2. It must then sit down with all other relevant parties to agree a credible independent body to facilitate a process of truth recovery.

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