Will a new set of questions about the past bring more satisfactory answers?

Patricia McBride, one of the four Victims Commissioners has an op ed in today’s Irish Times on the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee views on the Eames/Bradley report on the past

…raised victims’ expectations that something was going to be done to address their needs for acknowledgment, assistance, truth and justice. We have a duty to manage those expectations whether or not there is sufficient consensus about implementing its recommendations. We cannot keep asking the same questions, getting the same answers and not moving the process forward.

Not much to argue with there… Except, who is going ask the very different questions that will bring us a more satisfactory set of answers? She concludes with Seamus Heaney’s words:

….we are still being “careful to test out the scaffolding”. There are many difficult conversations to be had about our complex and contested history and how we address its impact on the people of this island and that of our neighbours to the east, yet we must, above all, develop the courage where “we may let the scaffolds fall, confident that we have built our wall”.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty