“This is a damaging fudge..”

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.

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  • getthefacts

    And what about male victims of domestic abuse and their children – they do not even have one commissioner.

  • graduate

    Mz Long may have no problems with Patricia McBride as an individual victinms commissioner but I wouldn’t feel comfortable approaching her given her background and views as members of my own family were in the security forces and some were murdered by the IRA and from her viewpoint those would be legitimate killings.Equally if I was from a republican background I don’t think I would be too pleased about going to see mrs McDougal. While there is such sensitivity over this issue I think OFMDFM have made a reasonable compromise by having all shades of opinion involved. No doubt we’ll hear a load of whining from Willie Frazer et al about appeasement to republicanism by including Patricia McBride and Jim Allister will have a go. My main gripe is that they’ll all be paid the 65 grand- let them share it out.

  • wild turkey

    A dangerous fudge or… by appointing two ‘perceived’ catholics and two perceived protestants (and also two women and two men by the way) a disingenuous method by which unsuccessful candidates will find it damn near impossible to identify ‘comparators’ and, therefore, limit the chances of alleging discrimination on the basis religion or gender.

    protestant female ____
    protestant male ____
    catholic female ____
    catholic male ____

    hey presto! all the boxes are literally ticked

  • cynic

    Wild Turkey

    Actually its quite the reverse. As they have no power to discriminate to make the balance of the Commissioners ‘right’ it gives everyone a comparitor.

  • Truth & Justice

    Seems likea fair balance just get on with the job!

  • gareth mccord

    truth and justice were in your fair balance does those victims who were affected by the loyalist para scum be represented?? there is nobody from my community to help all of us in dealing with OUR local para scum.? there is ira/security force and ruc/ira victims properly represented but the citizens on both sides who were not involved in anything have nobody they can go to like the ira and ruc members?? balanced my arse

  • Granni Trixie

    Surely the most important thing for a Victims commissioner is that whoever does the job has to show that they will deal fairly with everyone – 4 people lends itself to a sectarian carve up.
    What about fair employment law?

    And though like many people I think that Mrs McDougal did a fine job whilst in post – she got that opportunity because she was the choice of the DUP in a side deal.
    re Mike Nesbitt – what on earth makes him qualified? As a journalist he is known amongst wimmin as a sexist pig, plus, as far as I can remember, he skipped off the board of Campbell College Governers when the shit hit the fan over young man who made an allegation of past abuse and how the authorities at the time dealt/didnt deal with the matter. Lets hope he doesnt skip off when the going gets tough with Victims work.(but feel free to correct me if these facts are inaccurate…I’m sure you will).

  • willowfield

    It is very concerning to see Patricia McBride being appointed. How can someone closely associated with the perpetrators of terrorism represent their victims? How on earth could he DUP agree to that?

    Plus, I notice Jeffrey Donaldson is referring now the appointment of a Victims Commission rather than to four commissioners. I wonder will legislation be amended to reflect this?

  • William

    It is disgraceful that Patricia McBride was chosen to be a Victim’s Commissioner, as she still champions what her brother and his murdering scum cronies did for the best part of 35 years. She is still involved with those fine examples of truth and objectivity, Mark Thompson and Mike McRitchie in a cheerleading group extolling the virtues of their ‘innocent’ terrorists.

    I certainly wouldn’t wish to be discussing anything that might identify me to her….