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Sinn Féin challenge Hain to come clean over position on Truth Debate

27 May, 2005

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Truth, North Antrim MLA Philip McGuigan has challenged the new British Secretary of State Peter Hain to state clearly his approach to the issues of truth, healing and closure.

Mr McGuigan said:

"Sinn Féin wants a full, open and honest debate about truth recovery and healing.

"After meeting with a number of victims' representatives on the issues of truth recovery, justice and collusion it is apparent that there is a widespread concern that the British Government is proactively attempting to frustrate the search for truth and closure.

"It is only the efforts of victims' families and campaign groups which has kept the issues of truth recovery and justice live political issues.

"Recent developments such as the report of the "Northern Ireland Affairs' Committee" and the putting on hold of Paul Murphy's so called consultation process suggest that the British government is attempting to long finger the truth debate. Peter Hain would do well to encourage his government to finally acknowledge its role as a central protagonist in the conflict. By failing to properly address this aspect of conflict resolution it is defaulting on its responsibility to progress the peace process.

"The demand for this issue to be resolved is out there, the British government cannot close the door on it. Neither can it maintain the pretence that it is some sort of honest broker. Peter Hain should set himself the task of becoming the first British Secretary of State to tell the truth about his government's role in Ireland.

"This is the challenge to Peter Hain." ENDS

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