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Sinn Féin respond to Larkin proposal

20 November, 2013 - by Gerry Adams

Responding to proposals made by the Attorney General John Larkin on the issue of dealing with the past, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD said:

“Sinn Féin first published proposals on trying to deal with the past over ten years ago. In recent times with the establishment of the Haass Talks others have increasingly been making their voices heard and putting their ideas forward. This is a good thing. Our wider society needs to have this debate.

“Today the Attorney General in the north has put forward his ideas on dealing with one aspect of this, the issue of prosecutions. He has stated a view that there should be no prosecutions, inquests or inquiries for incidents pre the Good Friday Agreement.

“He has also said that the current position favours non-state forces. That is not the case. To all intents and purposes there is an amnesty for the British state forces and their allies. The British government has also broken inter-government agreements and commitments to deal with outstanding cases like the killing of human rights lawyer Pat Finucane and has refused to release files on the Dublin and Monaghan bombings.

“I have not had the chance to read the AG’s submission but this issue is much bigger than simply the issue of prosecutions.

“Whatever mechanisms are agreed in the future they need to be victim centred. The views of victims must be central to any effort to deal with the legacy of the past. Their voices must be heard and respected and all victims must be treated on the basis of equality.

“As it stands there is no single view from victims and survivors and it is unlikely that there will be one in the future. Some families seek truth, others seek a judicial process.

“Sinn Féin has proposed an Independent International Truth Recovery process. It is our view that this sort of approach offers the best way forward for victims and survivors and the best way forward for trying to deal with the legacy of the conflict and the effect it has on the political process in the here and now.

“The two governments should facilitate this. The past cannot be an obstacle to dealing with the present or a pretext for refusing to build a new future.” ENDS

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