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O’Neill calls on governments to convene party leaders’ meeting on legacy ‘talks process’

19 October, 2021 - by Michelle O'Neill

Sinn Féin Leas Uachtarán Michelle O’Neill has called for a Party Leader meeting to discuss the worth in continuing a ‘Talks Process on Legacy’ announced by the two governments in June.

In a letter to the British and Irish governments the Joint Head of Government in the north said there had been little progress on commitments from the governments to a process of intense engagement.

Michelle O’Neill said:

“I have written tonight to Simon Coveney and Brandon Lewis calling on them to convene an urgent Party Leader Roundtable meeting on legacy issues.

“That meeting should discuss whether there is any value in continuing with the so-called ‘Multi-Party Talks on Legacy’ trumpeted by the two governments in a joint communique on June 28th.

“To date there has been no meaningful engagement on the issues. There has been an absence of papers, no notes taken of meetings and three months on since the governments’ pledge of a process of intense engagement, no working groups have been established.

“The British government has continued to promote its proposals for an amnesty for British state forces. These proposals have been rejected by victims, the political parties, by local and international human rights bodies and by the Council of European Commissioner for Human Rights. 

“I have also told the British government that I am very concerned there is no independent international input to the legacy process.

“I have yet to get any satisfactory response about why this has not progressed or about the British government’s intentions.

“The British government has delayed implementation of the Stormont House Agreement for seven years. It’s difficult to come to any other conclusion than the British government is running down the clock until it brings forward its discredited amnesty proposals. 

“That is unacceptable. It is my view that there is an immediate need to convene a Party Leaders Roundtable to review the process to date and determine whether there is a process worth continuing.

"Sinn Féin will continue to press for the implementation of the Stormont House legacy mechanisms in a human rights compliant manner.”

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