The Eames/Bradley-chaired consultative group is to meet with the Northern Ireland Secretary, Shaun Woodward, ahead of tonight’s first of seven public meetings on how to
counsel the public over deal with the “huge and complex matter” of the past – or those parts not being examined by the Police Ombudsman et al. They’ve already met with other interested parties privately.. some of those parties have issues with the consultative group, as well as issues with their own past.. ANYhoo.. Denis Bradley expects their report to be published in the summer. After which, as he has already stated, he believes the “transitory body” should be wound up and that “the substantive task of dealing with the past in large measure rest[s] with the Northern Assembly and Executive.” And according to the group’s website,
The report will contain recommendations on ways to support Northern Ireland society in the building of a shared future.
Something tells me that won’t include taking the bull by the horns.. as I’ve suggested previously.. Adds Or, as Patrick Murphy put it in the Irish News, “The only way to handle the past is not to sanitise it but to face it.”More from Patrick Murphy’s article
The only way to handle the past is not to sanitise it but to face it. And that raises an additional tension between the two ministers. McGuinness claims the past is over but Paisley thinks it has not gone away, you know. He said as much this week when indicating that it is still too early to devolve policing and justice powers to the assembly.
He appears to have one eye on the outcome of the Paul Quinn murder inquiry. Whether the new [victims] commissioner considers Quinn a victim of political violence or a fuel smuggler will tell us if it is Paisley’s blind eye.
There is a view within the DUP which suggests that it is not worth bringing down Stormont for the murder of a Catholic in south Armagh. It is a sentiment which has been echoed by the SDLP.
In politics indignation always comes easier than principle.
If history is but a fable agreed upon, the delay in the appointment of a victims commissioner merely indicates that the Brothers Grimm have not yet agreed on the fable.
So in an effort to help them, if you are all sitting comfortably, we shall begin: “Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess called Northern Ireland who was fairest in all the UK. But she also had a dark side…” (To be continued in the assembly in mid-January).