Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sinn Féin meet Victims Commissioner

8 February, 2006


Sinn Fein Spokesperson on Truth, North Antrim MLA Philip McGuigan speaking after the party's first meeting with the newly appointed Victims' Commissioner Bertha McDougall has said that it is essential that the 1,500 people killed by the state and its' surrogates in the unionist paramilitaries are not marginalised.

Mr McGuigan said:

"While Sinn Fein have serious concerns about the appointment process used to appoint Ms McDougall we will meet with anyone to ensure that all victims' are treated equally. The bottom line is that there must be equality of treatment for all victims and an end to the approach that perpetuates the discrimination against victims of state violence and collusion such as the appointment of the DUP's nominee as Victims' Commissioner

"Almost 1,500 people were killed by the British state and its' surrogates in the unionist paramilitaries. These are the victims that have never received the acknowledgement that all victims deserve. The Bloomfield Report, for example, contained only two paragraphs about these victims.

"We need to ensure that there are adequate resources and funding put in place by both governments to enable victims groups to pursue their remits. We also need to see International best practice adopted to support the development of special community-based initiatives, including trauma and counselling services.

"The British government, RUC and British Army have never acknowledged their role in the conflict. As a next step forward there is an onus on the British government to acknowledge its role in the conflict and clarification of its actions." ENDS



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