Victims Commissioners backed Eames/Bradley payments to victims…

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 Bradley’s 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…

,

  • Rory Carr

    I wonder would I qualify so that I might be compensated for the post-traumatic stress that I find myself suffering after reading the comments on Slugger each time this topic arises.

  • John O’Connell

    I’m with you, Rory. The PTSD stress as a result of the hassle I get for putting my firm beliefs on this site that Gerry Adams is the Antichrist et cetera should be worth a few bob.

    It’s not as if I’m saying anything which isn’t startlingly obvious to any reasonable observer.

  • Oh my God!

    [i]The PTSD stress as a result of the hassle I get for putting my firm beliefs on this site that Gerry Adams is the Antichrist et cetera should be worth a few bob.[/i]

    Is the slagging you take on Slugger comparable to the time when you were crucified, Lord, all those years back?

    Also, I’ve learned a few more things about the Lord over the past few weeks:

    — Jesus watches Casualty
    — Jesus likes Chinese food
    — Jesus plays the lotto

    Amazing stuff. Anyways, I didn’t know you were in it for the money. Is that why you sell all our books at £12.99 on Amazon?

    [i]It’s not as if I’m saying anything which isn’t startlingly obvious to any reasonable observer. [/i]

    I know. After designing my own alphabetical algorithm I noted with consternation and puzzlement that the name [i]John O’Connell[/i] equated to the number 8,451 – which, according to my method, spelt the following:

    Mental, mental, chicken oriental. Coincidence?

    Oh sorry, is that playing the man again? Ah, ok. So if it is, who does repeatedly calling someone the Antichrist fit with said dictum?

  • abu nicola

    Oh my God,
    You’re not allowed to call idiots “idiots” on this site. Don’t do it again.

  • jad

    didn’t malachi o’doherty carry the story first that denis bradley had been a peace process pipeline person? anyone want to bet the same source gave him this story?

  • jad, the source of this story is made plain; it was a recording of Denis Bradley and Mike Nesbitt at the John Hewitt Summer School last Friday.

  • fair_deal

    Was there not a rumour that they’d been the ones to suggest something like this (if not exactly like this) to the panel in the first place? Hence they are somewhat obliged to back it.

  • This is the line people should be reading.

    ‘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.’

  • alan56

    In this morning’s Newsletter Nesbitt is quoted as saying ‘I didn’t agree with the arbitary age cut off’ but does not mention that he accepts the notion that ‘families of those who have lost loved ones as a result of the conflict’ would get an acknowledgement payment.
    There is either back peddling or spin happening here. I think Mr. Nesbitt needs to clear this up.

    In the Newsletter article he is also quoted as saying about Bradley’s assertion that the Victims Commission asked them to include a recognition payment. ‘He’s wrong..We never asked him to do it’
    Who does one believe in this unseemly mess?

  • west belfast

    Alan56

    Believe Dennis Bradley.

    I think what Mike Nesbitt knows about victims can be written on the back of a stamp.

    If memory serves me right Nesbitt did a solo run when Eames Bradley first came out. Maybe someone should ask Bertha McDogal, Patricia McBride and Brendan McAllister what they think.

  • fair_deal

    Both are telling the truth to a point.

    The VC apparently highlighted the issue of very low compensation levels at the start of the troubles for victims families and for some additional payment to be looked at to the panel.

    When the panel looked at the issue they reached the conclusion that the easiest means to achieve that was a universal scheme as they believed lesser schemes could be subject to legal issues around equality etc.

    Did the VC ask for a specific proposal of an acknowledgement payment to all victims family? No. However does the Panel proposal have its direct genesis in what the VC raised? Yes

  • fair_deal, There is a clear point of difference between Denis and Mike, in that Denis says the VC asked for the recognition payment. The letter from the VC to Eames Bradley endorses the idea but does not suggest that it originated with the VC. However Mike says that he was not at all the meetings and isn’t sure (on the sound recording).
    Is Denis wrong? Did the VC ask for the payment idea to be included in the report? I don’t know.
    Did the VC endorse the idea as a good one after meeting Eames and Bradley? Obviously.

    The only quibble they had was with the idea of an age qualification; no quibble is expressed with the idea that all those who lost loved ones through the conflict should be covered.

    So, either the VC should be out there fighting for the reviled idea of a recognition payment to the families of all who died in the conflict, or they should be telling us why they changed their minds.

  • cynic

    Whoever started it it was a stupid idea that would never fly.

    But what the hell, its only public money and the argument keeps the victim industy busy

  • fair_deal

    malachi

    “There is a clear point of difference between Denis and Mike, in that Denis says the VC asked for the recognition payment”

    The explanation given in my comment about who did what when is based on what a member of the Consultative panel told me. The payment as proposed by the panel was not what the VC had specifically asked for but was developed to solve the problem the VC had raised.

    If this is wrong and the VC did indeed ask for such a payment how does one of the VC’s not know about it? If not why not and how is the VC operating?

  • Fact: Denis Bradley said the VC asked for the recognition payment to be included in the Eames Bradley report. Is he right? I don’t know.
    Fact: Mike Nesbitt said at the John Hewitt SS that he didn’t know whether the VC had made such a request because he hadn’t attended all the meetings. That is on record.
    Fact: The VC endorsed the idea of the recognition payment two months before the publication of the Eames Bradley report, with one reservation, that all victims should be included and not just those within a specific age range. (The source for that is the letter to Eames Bradley which the VC quoted in their statement to me and which I have posted to my blog.)

    When fair_deal says that the VC asked for compensation for victims to be looked at by the Eames Bradley group, this may or may not clarify the question. It may be that at that point they were only talking about the levels of compensation paid before to people defined as victims for the purposed of criminal injuries payments, and urging that those people should be paid more. That would be different from the recognition payment.

    Mike is clearly opposed to the idea of a recognition payment to all the families who lost loved ones. But what do the other commissioners say? Do they still stand over the letter they sent to Eames Bradley?

    Incidentally, I personally think the recognition payment idea is a good one and have written articles in defence of it. It would formalise a level playing field at the start of a truth recovery process: I very much doubt the playing field would be level at the end of such a process.

  • ardmajell55

    fair deal…msg 7
    the fact that four victims commissioners are doing the job of one is enough evidence to condemn the whole circus at stormont. there are surely enough quangos already in existence to handle that remit. the polititicos up there just like puffing themselves up to their full height to express their own impotance, while it’s all a glorified parish council whose powers could be stripped by westminster/dublin tomorrow, just as with ted heath stripping the old stormont with a stroke of the pen in 1972.