More on the FOUR Victims’ Commissioners to be appointed [after the First and deputy First ministers failed to agree on one – Ed]. The DUP’s Jeffrey Donaldson appears to be the appointed press officer on this, “This was about the First and Deputy First Ministers trying to get this issue right for victims and bringing about changes which will benefit the victims sector for many years to come.”.. but a more accurate assessment comes from the Alliance Party’s Naomi Long in this report
“This is a damaging fudge. How is this arrangement going to work?” she asked.
“The work carried out by a Victims Commissioner is extremely important and I fear that the First and Deputy First Minister’s actions might lead to the ridicule of this vital role.
“Why were four people appointed, when every one of them would have been capable of doing the job single-handedly?”
Adds Mark Devenport asks – “And what about the children and the elderly? Will we see them on the steps of Stormont demanding three extra commissioners?” Indeed.The FOUR Victims’ Commissioners are also identified
Authoritative Stormont sources said the four commissioners, whose appointments will be confirmed in the Assembly on Monday, will be:
– Bertha McDougal whose police reservist husband Lindsay was gunned down by the Irish National Liberation Army in Belfast city centre in 1981. She previously served as the Interim Victims Commissioner, making recommendations last year. However her appointment by former Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain was deemed improper and politically motivated by a High Court judge when it was challenged in the courts,
– Patricia McBride, whose brother Tony was one of two IRA members killed along with a member of SAS near the Irish border in Co Fermanagh in 1984.
– Brendan McAllister, the director of Mediation Northern Ireland, who was involved in efforts to resolve the Drumcree marching dispute between members of the Protestant Orange Order and nationalists.
– Mike Nesbitt, a former television news anchorman and public relations consultant, who has worked for Ulster Television and the BBC.
Stormont sources said the commission members will all receive £65,000 and will agree among themselves who will chair their meetings.