Malachi O’Doherty has an op ed in today’s Belfast Telegraph warning the Victims Commissioners to tread carefully, for fear of treading on victims nightmares. But it’s his blog that carries the news the Victims Commission had backed the Eames Bradley Legacy Commission proposals for an ex gratia payment to all victims prior to their controversial launch earlier this year. He carries the Commission official position statement (copied below the fold):
CVS welcomes the suggestion that CGDP would recommend an acknowledgment payment be made to families of those who have lost loved ones as a result of the conflict. However, we are concerned that any age weighting criteria would be applied in consideration of these payments, as the acknowledgment of loss has no relation to age.
Put simply, we were concerned to prevent a situation where there were two neighbours, both widows, but only one received a payment, with the other losing out because she was born a day later than her friend.
It is clear, therefore, that the Commission did not ask the Consultative Group to make the payment. Rather, we advised that if they were going to make such a recommendation, they should beware an arbitrary, age-related cut-off point, and asked them to re-consider their original proposal.
Further, Denis Bradleys assertion that the Commission linked the payment in any way to our role in establishing a victims forum is incorrect.
Yet, as Malachi points out, the Commission kept schtum and let Eames and Bradley take the brunt of the public flak…