I had mentioned the absence of confirmation from the Secretary of State for Wales, etc, on the ‘dealing with the legacy’ review.. and now “an informed source” has told Brian Rowan, in the Belfast Telegraph, that we’ll hear something in the next fortnight. In the meantime that same informed source says that two members of the “study group” will be Lord Eames and Denis Bradley. Now, I don’t want to prejudge what is supposed to be an 18 month review.. but that particular news doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence..Also in the Belfast Telegraph report
Lord Eames and Denis Bradley – a former vice chairman of the Policing Board and once part of a secret link between the republican leadership and British Government – are expected to be part of a wider ‘team’.
Within a pre-set time frame, the team will explore whether there is a consensus on how best to address the issue of the past.
“It will be a big conversation,” a source with knowledge of the project told the Belfast Telegraph.
He said the group would have a “blank sheet” – there would be ” no pre-determined outcomes”.
“It is trying to find [if there is] a consensus. Is there a consensus out there on how best to take the past forward? It is as simple and as complex as that,” the source added.
Existing public inquiries and other investigations into past killings will continue as the new study group carries out its consultation.
A consensus? Here?
And Brian Rowan gives his reaction, and adds some questions
Much of the past, the conflict, the war, was hidden in a thick fog. There is stuff we were never meant to see.
And a judgment the Eames-Bradley team will have to make is how much of the truth will be made available.
There is no worth in a half-truth process – no point in this if some of the sides stay away.
It should be all or nothing.
Collusion is a big stick to beat the police and Army with – and there was collusion, but our war had many sides.
Who will explain the orders and the actions of the IRA, the UVF, the UDA and all those other republican and loyalist organisations?
What about those in the most senior positions of paramilitary leadership who were in the pay of the Special Branch and the Security Services?
What side of any truth table will they sit at?
There is some of this that will never come out ? can never come out ? because it would cause turmoil in the peace process.
Would any of us be surprised if at the end of their consultation Lord Eames and Denis Bradley conclude that we may get some more of the truth ? but we won’t get all of it.
There is stuff that will be forever hidden in the darkest of places.
Hidden.. and intended to be by-passed..