“That is if this place ever has a process of truth and reconciliation.”

In the Belfast Telegraph Brian Rowan picks up on NI Police Ombudsman Al Hutchison’s comments following the publication of the Claudy report.  Al Hutchison was, let’s not forget, repeating himself…  From the Belfast Telegraph article

The Ombudsman has more than a hundred historical cases sitting on his desk — work he estimates will take fifty years to complete. And if this is left in his office and left with the Historical Enquiries Team, then the reality is that many people will never have their answers.

That suits those who have buried the secrets of war and hidden themselves from responsibility.

So it is clear what Al Hutchinson is trying to do. He is explaining what his office can and cannot do — saying out loud that he and his team cannot operate as a substitute Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

And he is telling those who have political responsibility that the past needs to be dealt with in some structured rather than piecemeal fashion. That means we need some straight answers.

What is happening with the Eames/Bradley report? What does Secretary of State Owen Paterson mean when he says: “Simply ‘drawing a line’ is not an option?” If that means the Government is prepared to do something, what is it?

And we need to know what answers the IRA, loyalist groups, security forces and governments are prepared to bring to some table of explanation. If they are not prepared to step forward, then there is no point having a Legacy Commission — or some half-truth process.

Just don’t expect justice to feature.  That’s “the price of velvet”, apparently…