“The decision to bury hard facts about our troubled past cannot be taken on the nod”

In the Belfast Telegraph Liam Clarke argues that the British and Irish Governments’ refusal to request and publish the IICD’s inventory of decommissioned weapons “tells us a great deal about their commitment to truth-recovery”.  From the Belfast Telegraph article

This is information which the governments commissioned and paid for on our behalf. If they decline to get it and publish it, that will send the clearest possible signal that the secrets of the Troubles, or at least any which can cause embarrassment to important interests, will not be tackled until those most affected are either dead, or beyond caring.

In its report, the IICD says that peace in Northern Ireland ‘means that however reprehensible some acts are that were committed in the past, at some point a line needs to be drawn under them – never to forget, but to be able to move on’.

‘Never to forget,’ they say. But, by refusing us the facts of decommissioning, they deny us the opportunity to remember.

No outside body, no matter how well-meaning, is entitled to take such decisions on behalf of our society.

An individual dealing with traumatic events is generally advised not to suppress the memory, but to face it with the help of others.

Perhaps the same is true of a society; facing the past may free us from its spell. It will certainly help overcome the myths built on partial information.

The decision to bury hard facts about our troubled past cannot be taken on the nod. This is an issue that requires serious political debate which will consider the total impact on society – not just on paramilitary groups.

Read the whole thing.