“The lack of a truth recovery process means that tribal myths will continue to trump actual memory”

A parting shot from the out-going chief commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, Prof Michael O’Flaherty.  From the Irish Times report

Prof O’Flaherty said: “Some of our most vulnerable people remain at the margins, with inadequate acknowledgment of their suffering; many are dying without ever being able to share their stories of pain and loss.

“There is not a day that goes by without the unresolved sense of neglect and injustice triggering societal problems.

The lack of a truth recovery process means that tribal myths will continue to trump actual memory.” [added emphasis]

Indeed.

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  • Framer

    Why is he departing after only two years? Something of a slap in the face to those who appointed him and to locals who endorsed him.
    I notice he continued double jobbing by picking up a professorship in Galway (presumably leaving the equivalent one he had in England).
    Has the industry found him a disappointment and undermined him or does some UN job loom?

  • Aren’t commissioners part-time jobs, with a full-time director under the figurehead?

  • David Crookes

    “Myths”?

    Here’s a myth for you.

    These commissioners are useful, and deserve what they are paid.

    There are less than two million of us in the present NI. How many commissioners do we need?

  • aquifer

    He makes a good point.

    It would not take a very large resource to document some of the experiences of victims.

    But where is the NI specific bill of rights we were promised in the Good Friday Agreement? These serial commissioners must not be on a productivity deal.

    Do some people think that the threat and intimidation of individuals because of their religion or political beliefs, or lack of them, is politically useful or normal?

    Are the children all obliged to continue the squabble?

  • cynic2

    “But where is the NI specific bill of rights we were promised in the Good Friday Agreement? ”

    The reality is that the Taliban HRC went overboard and started to invent a lot of new rights that would even usurp the rights of Parliament to make laws and hand power to the Courts.

    None of the Stormont Turkeys were going to vote for that. Its now a dead duck

  • cynic2

    “These commissioners are useful, and deserve what they are paid”

    Actually they now look like quite a sensible bunch who could do business …but the politics will stop them

  • Greenflag

    @ aquifer ,

    “Are the children all obliged to continue the squabble?”

    Good point . Short answer no but the political reality is they will. There is no way out of the GFA cage apart from a dismantling of the NI State itself and thats not on any near horizon .

  • Brian Walker

    “The lack of a truth recovery process means that tribal myths will continue to trump actual memory”
    But “memory” is as fallible as “tribal myths “ so his point is badly made.

  • Zig70

    Indeed Brian, the idea of truths is part of the tribal toolkit. All we have are experiences and those are very valuable in themselves. Though they often end up as opinions without hard facts or reinforcement.