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Sinn Féin comment on establishment of consultative group to deal with the past

22 June, 2007

Commenting on the announcement by the British Secretary of State Peter Hain establishing a consultation group to examine ways of dealing with the past, Sinn Féin spokesperson on victims issues Francie Molloy said:

"The issue of truth recovery, of victims and the need for a healing process are crucial matters which need to be resolved in the time ahead. Sinn Féin published detailed proposals for dealing with the past sometime ago. Sinn Féin are absolutely committed to seeing a process developed which can deliver closure for the families of those killed during the conflict. This process must be victim centred and must deal comprehensively with the issue.

"The key to dealing with this issue is ensuring that there is no hierarchy of victims. This includes acknowledging the fact that the British State are protagonists in this conflict and not innocent onlookers. The British State directly or through their surrogate paramilitary gangs have been responsible for hundreds of deaths. That needs to be recognised and acknowledged if progress is to be made.

"Inevitably serious concerns do and will arise from the fact that the group is appointed by the British government and will report back to the British government which will have the final say on any recommendations." ENDS

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