Legacy consultation ‘welcome but long overdue’ – O’Neill
Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Michelle O’Neill has welcomed today’s publication of the ‘long overdue’ draft Bill to establish the Legacy mechanisms agreed in the Stormont House Agreement.
The draft bill will now be consulted on and Michelle O’Neill strongly criticised the British Government for delaying the process for so long.
She commented: “While today’s publication of the draft bill is welcome, it is already long overdue. The Stormont House Agreement was four years ago and the institutions agreed then are still not in operation. Victims should not have had to wait so long to get to this stage. They should not have had to see so many false promises from the British Government come and go during that period.
“This is much too important an issue for it to be jeopardised by in-fighting within the Tory cabinet as we have seen over recent days. The Stormont House legacy bodies are key to finding a way forward on the past so its important that we now move on with the consultation and the British Government end their stalling, delaying and deliberate misinformation with regard to this issue.
“Similarly, they must drop their ongoing refusal to release the legacy inquest funding requested by the Lord Chief Justice.
“It is now over six weeks since the High Court ruled that this money was unlawfully blocked by the former First Minister Arlene Foster.
“The British Secretary of State should immediately release the funding and enable the Lord Chief Justice to proceed with his plan to clear the backlog of legacy inquests.”