Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sinn Fein challenge Hain to take action over victims' verdict

19 November, 2006

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Policing and Justice, Gerry Kelly MLA, has challenged the British Secretary of State Peter Hain to initiate the 'immediate inquiry' ordered by a court into the cover up around his appointment of Mrs Bertha McDougall as interim Victims' Commissioner and apologise to victims for the hurt he has caused them.

Mr Kelly said;

"Peter Hain's response since the court found against him in this matter shows that not only is he unrepentant about his cynical political misuse of victims' issues, but is contemptuous of any suggestion that he might have something to apologise for.

"The court found that his appointment of Mrs McDougall was a blatant political sop to the DUP and that those involved were fully aware that her appointment would not command cross-community support - in fact they planned for this.

"Victims across the board have a right to be treated with honesty and respect. For Mr Hain to continue to insist that he was acting on behalf of victims when all the evidence shows otherwise is to compound the hurt his actions have already caused.

"If Peter Hain wants to undo the damage done by this episode he should immediately set up the inquiry demanded by the court, apologise for the hurt he has caused and set himself the task of becoming the first British Secretary of State to take victims' issues seriously by acknowledging his government's role in the recent conflict."ENDS

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