NI: Victims demand apology over latest Stormont deal
Northern Ireland’s Victims and Survivors Forum has demanded an apology from party leaders and the Irish and British governments over their failure to resolve issues related to the legacy of the Troubles.
A deal struck between the DUP, Sinn Féin and the two governments to break the political deadlock in Northern Ireland does not address so-called legacy issues.
The Forum, which advises the Commission for Victims and Survivors, is now calling for a meeting with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Prime Minister David Cameron as “a matter of urgency”.
The Forum also said it had lost “all trust and confidence” in local politicians and no longer believes its voice is being heard by either government.
The Commission earlier said that promised measures in danger of being shelved indefinitely include the Mental Health Trauma Service, pensions for those severely injured, Advocate Counsellor support, the Historical Investigations Unit, Independent Commission for Information Retrieval, Oral History Archive and the Implementation and Reconciliation Group.
Victims Commissioner Judith Thompson has requested an urgent meeting with Northern Ireland secretary Theresa Villiers and the First Minister and deputy First Minister to be fully briefed on the consequences of the new deal.
Ms Thompson also promised to ensure that the Victims Forum and sector are fully informed as they move forward.
Earlier, a senior officer said the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) was disappointed by the lack of consensus on legacy issues.
Deputy Chief Constable Drew Harris said the formation of the Historical Investigations Unit would “provide an opportunity for a more structured and coherent approach to dealing with the past, allowing the PSNI to concentrate primarily on keeping people safe today”.
He added: “The reality is the financial challenges facing us will continue to have a direct impact on how we respond to the demands of the past and the pace at which those demands can be serviced.”