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British Policy of ‘Denial, Delay and Death’ on Legacy Issues must end – Gavan

22 January, 2019 - by Paul Gavan

Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan has called for immediate action from the British Government to implement the outstanding Legacy Mechanisms of the Stormont House Agreement. The agreement was signed up to by both the British and Irish Governments and the five main parties in the North of Ireland in 2014. It plots a roadmap to achieve truth and justice for all victims of the conflict.

Speaking in the Council of Europe, Senator Gavan condemned the British Government’s approach to the past as one defined by “Denial, Delay and Death”, saying:

“Denial, where the British State have denied involvement in the death of a loved one; Delay, where the British State have frustrated legal process to block the truth; and Death, where family members believe the British State strategy is to wait on the death of family members rather than tell the truth.

“The reason for British Government prevarication is in order to delay and avoid state collusion being exposed, particularly the role of the British Army in its dirty war against the nationalist population of the North of Ireland. Their approach continues to be to deny wrongdoing, conceal the truth and limit accountability.

Speaking on the opening day of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council, Senator Gavan went on to call on the British Government to immediately implement and adequately resource the Stormont House Agreement Legacy mechanisms in a human rights compliant manner.

He also called on the British Government to adequately resource the Lord Chief Justice’s five year plan to clear the backlog in Legacy inquests and adequately resource the Office of the Police Ombudsman to allow them to complete outstanding historical investigations.

Concluding his contribution to the Assembly, Senator Gavan declared:

“The people of the North of Ireland have already waited far too long for justice. It is high time that the British Government faced up to its responsibilities and commitments as set out in the Stormont House Agreement.” 

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