“Even if you could draw a line under the past I’m not sure you should..”

With the Office of the First and deputy First Ministers reportedly “examining the Alliance Party amendments in detail”, we’ll have to wait to see whether the actual legislation creating a Victims Commission is fast-tracked through the Assembly next week. In the meantime, and in the absence of the report from the Eames/Bradley group, the Police Ombudsman, Al Hutchison, has been revisiting his previous comments – as Policing Oversight Commissioner – in an interview in the Irish News [subs req for now]

“In my final report as oversight commissioner I listed a number of challenges including policing the past or future. I said that both this office and the HET are blunt instruments too narrowly focused to solve society’s problems. After coming to office I’ve confirmed that is the right view but with an additional fact. Having talked to victims and families from across the board I know that they can’t be ignored and we need proper legislation to deal with that. Even if you could draw a line under the past I’m not sure you should because of the victims deserve the truth. And while getting answers can be cathartic to some there are also lessons [to] be learnt and which have been learnt.”

And then there’s the other matter..

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  • A little local difficulty?

    And yet another little matter coming up over the horizon which is certain to cause difficulties.

    The Parades Review Body chaired by Paddy Ashdown is due to publish its report by the end of this month early May.

    Among its recommendation is that local councils will, in future, be initially responsible for convening meetings between parades organisers and those who object. The DUP and UUP will jump with joy at that, particularly those councillors who are members of the Loyal Orders.

    If there is no agreement/resolution at these meetings, the responsibility then shifts to the OFM/DFM who appoint an adjudication panel to decide whether the parade goes ahead or not.

  • Purporting to be able to police the future, let alone ponder its challenges, seems outlandish even when talking about Victims.

  • Meant to say past, however some would argue that even the future would be a stretch.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    as long as I can sing ‘Battle Of Garvagh’ and walk in Garvagh without intereference from republicans, i shall rest in peace.

  • Muad’Dib

    Why are Sinn Fein going to such lengths to make Ms MacBride an issue? What exactly is the problem with having a two thirds majority or a Chief Commissioner among them to settle a deadlock, would the Shinners rather such a dead lock was settled by the OFMDFM because we all know how effective they are at sorting a diffucult decision.

    The fact of the matter is the Alliance ammendments fixed what was a very broken and sloppy piece of legislation. The Shinners nipped it in the bud for two reasons, one they didn’t want the great voting public to see how incompetant they (the OFMDFM) are and see the Alliance get the credit for saving the legislation despite itself and second they want their puppet in the commission giving them a veto.

    I personally am not aware of the politics of the Commissioners in waiting but it seems the Shinners are given comments made by them towards the Alliance bench when this first stage of debates started.

  • joeCanuck

    Would it solve the impasse if a Chief Commissioner were appointed and it was held by each commissioner on a rotating basis, 6 or 12 months?