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Legacy issues will be focus of talks - Murphy

11 November, 2014 - by Conor Murphy

Sinn Féin MP Conor Murphy has said legacy issues of the conflict will be the focus of talks tomorrow. 

Speaking ahead of a full round of talks with the British and Irish governments, Mr Murphy said; 

“Sinn Féin’s acceptance of the Haass recommendations was an enormous compromise on our position on legacy issues. We remain convinced that an Independent International Truth Commission is the most effective vehicle to deal with all that is involved. We will seek to build in that direction.

“Haass, however has been rejected by the DUP and the UUP while the British government’s position on the recommendations was both lukewarm and belated.

“In one respect at least the Haass/O’Sullivan exercise met with one important success. That is in bringing about an acceptance of the reality that there is no single narrative of the conflict; that, indeed, there are multiple narratives. 

"From that must flow an acceptance by all that the voices of the victims and survivors of the conflict must be heard and respected and not simply the loudest voices. 

"The views of the many thousand victims and survivors who have remained silent must also be heard. This is key to the process of reconciliation so vital to the establishment of a permanent peace.

“Sinn Féin’s position on legacy issues has been constant. We believe that everyone – governments and their agencies, combatant organisations, political parties and so on – should pledge themselves to talk about and hear the truth about the past. And that the role of the media in shaping what many believed to be truth should be examined.

“We have had many reminders in recent times of what is required. This is flagged up by the withholding of information from inquests, the constraints placed on the Police Ombudsman and the Attorney General and the ongoing withholding of information from Judge Barron’s inquiry into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings. Most recently we have had the shelving of the inquiry into the murder of citizens in Derry on Bloody Sunday. 

"The European Commissioner for Human Rights, only last week, made clear that the funding issue, given as the reason for this, is the responsibility of the British Government.

“Sinn Féin’s basic criteria in respect of this important issue are; victim and survivor centred, comprehensive in scope and effective.

“That is the basis on which we will judge any proposed outcome to the current talks.”

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