“substantive task of dealing with the past in large measure rest[s] with..”

Yesterday on his Diaries blog Mark Devenport mentioned the appearance, in front of the First and Deputy First Ministers’ scrutiny committee, of the Eames/Bradley consultation group. But the report in the Irish Times indicates a couple of awkward conclusions [subs req]. According to the report “Lord Eames [told the committee].. that it was crucial to achieve political agreement on the way forward.” And we already know that at least one party has issues with the Eames/Bradley group. The second conclusion I’d suggest we can reach is that the Eames/Bradley group has no intention of trying to take the bull by the horns. From the Irish Times report

Lord Eames said everyone in the North had memories and emotions about the past, and the general responsibility of his group was to address the issue without overshadowing the positive potential of the future. He stressed they were not a truth and reconciliation group but had a brief to come up with proposals on confronting the past.

Mr Bradley said the consultative group on the past was a transitory body that should be wound up next year after it makes its recommendations – if it could agree on its recommendations – and the substantive task of dealing with the past in large measure rested with the Northern Assembly and Executive.

and the other members of the group are reported as saying this

Mr McBride adverted to the complexity of finding agreement on the past. He said he was very heartened by the people who had already come forward to speak to the group. “We are not going to satisfy everybody no matter what we come up with, but we are trying to come up with something that will satisfy as many as possible.”

Mr Burns said given that even the Omagh relatives could not agree on a memorial garden to remember the victims of the Real IRA bombing, it was clear that the challenge to achieve consensus on recommendations would be hugely difficult.

To repeat myself, and a reminder of the comparison I’ve been using..

Poisonous foundations and all that..


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