Consultative Group’s ‘expected’ recommendations

The Eames/Bardley co-chaired Consultative Group on the Past isn’t due to publish its report until next week but those anonymous sources are at it again. BBC NI’s Vincent Kearney reports the leaked details but at UTV Ken Reid has itemised the ‘expected recommendations’ [see below the fold]. Anyone expecting a focus on the societal glue of justice was always likely to be disappointed. I did suggest there were too many supernaturalists involved.. And so much for taking the bull by the horns. But perhaps “our new democratic institutions aren’t strong enough to withstand the truth” after all.. Adds DUP leader Peter Robinson’s response – “This process has been a waste of time.” [Bring on the 4 horsemen victims commissioners? – Ed]. Update Further BBC report. And The Irish Times.

• The next of kin of each person killed in the Troubles will receive a “Recognition Payment” of £12,000, a figure based on a similar scheme that operated in the Republic of Ireland.

• A Legacy Commission chaired by an international figure, with two vice chairs, would run for five years at a cost of £160m.

• The Commission would continue investigations into murders from the Troubles with a view to securing prosecutions, replacing the historic cases work carried out by the Police Ombudsman and the police Historic Inquiries Team (HET), the closing down of which would save an estimated £100m.

• Where relatives are willing to waive the chance of prosecution an Information Recovery Process would use contacts in the security forces and paramilitary groups to retrieve information on killings.

• The Commission would oversee Thematic Studies to arrive at an understanding of issues such as the role of paramilitary groups and allegations that security forces colluded with loyalist killers. It is hoped such work would help identify mistakes in the past and ensure they are not repeated.

• Issues in wider society would be tackled to meet the needs of victims, a Reconciliation Forum would help heal divisions, while sectarianism would be tackled and social problems such as addiction, made worse by the Troubles, could be targeted.

• A £100m Bursary would be set up to fund projects aimed at dealing with legacy issues.

Under the blueprint no further costly public inquiries into the past would be initiated, although the ones currently under way would be allowed to conclude.