The BBC is reporting that Gerry Kelly has suggested that the £12,000 for relatives of victims proposed by Eames Bradley was a mistake. He is quoted as saying:
“In fairness to Eames-Bradley, no-one said that it was in compensation or anything like that,” said Mr Kelly.
“They said it was in acknowledgement of the suffering across the board. I think personally that it was a mistake. It’s easy in hindsight to say that, but clearly it was a mistake because it caused so much controversy. The real issue is that there has to be truth.”
Clearly some may feel that the Republican movements view of the truth may not be quite the same as everyone elses. It is interesting, however, that Kelly has come out with this comment. The almost universal chorus of disapproval and indeed disgust which greeted the outcome of Eames Bradley seems to have damaged the whole report. I suggested at the time that the £12,000 might be a smokes screen to distract attention from other parts of the report such as the preparation for an amnesty and changes to rules on serious criminals getting employment.
Such was the controversy, however, that the whole report and indeed Eames personal position and respect within especially the unionist community was seriously undermined (in fairness as I had repeatedly suggested beforehand). It is possible that the £12,000 far from distracting attention from the other pernicious parts of the report will help sink the whole thing. Clearly there are many parts of Eames Bradley which would be of great benefit to republican (and indeed loyalist) ex prisoners. As such one wonders if Kelly is trying to suggest that the £12,000 should be dumped and hence, just maybe save the whole report.
Of course also on the report Jarlath Burns has not put up the names of the unionist politicians who supposedly supported Eames Bradleys £12,000 proposal. Indeed he now seems to have shut up which yet further damages the credibility of the whole report.