It ought to come as no surprise, but no doubt it will, that Jeffrey Donaldson said rather bluntly on Nolan this morning, chances of full disclosure from the paramilitary organisations responsible for most Troubles related deaths (loyalists, 29.9%, Republican 57.8%) are none.
The full burden of disclosure around killings is apparently only aimed at state forces (9.8%). Even if state agents within the paramilitaries were responsible for individual murders, it’s unlikely that we can move move neatly from paramilitary to state murder column.
But it points to a messy (if largely faux) game being played out in public to try to ensure some kind of amnesty of the type Gerry Adams secretly lobbied the British for back in May 2000.
In practice cold cases can be re-investigated to bring conviction conviction level justice to relatives. But since that has only happened in cases concerning dissident (or post Provisionals) or rogue loyalists it suggests non conviction is informal policy.
As Hugh Orde pointed out (a tad bitterly it seemed to me) on The View last night that the one instrument that was bringing something like the truth to victims was stymied by the Stormont House Agreement and no replacement likely to emerge from that largely theoretical document.
In composite whilst protesting publicly (and encouraging relatives to seek justice only from the state) SF’s engagement ring-fences Loyalist and Republican murderers from the Troubles, whilst seeking transference of responsibility for all killings to the state.
Them’s the rules, apparently. And Mr Donaldson now appears to be unafraid to admit to knowing it. The question is where next?
After Danny Morrison’s successful action in the High Court, is the judicial route the best way for relatives to get some modicum of justice?