It says everything about our inability to deal with our past that we have almost everything – up to and including cynical manipulation of narrow political interests – short of a public acknowledgment of the distress and the need for help common to all…
Noel Whelan in the Irish Times today writes:
There is no reason why we should feel the need to segregate the victims of the Troubles into Protestant and Catholic like their killers did. Those killed in the Troubles were not Catholic victims or Protestant victims – they were human lives destroyed. They are Northern Irish dead.
We should also resist the notion that any particular political tradition or political party represents one group of victims rather than another. Nobody has party affiliation in death. In remembering them we don’t need to pander to political fault lines.
What is striking as each anniversary of the various atrocities passes is how much remains to be done in tackling the needs of the victims of the Troubles.
In some cases these include complex health and social service needs. For some they include the need to know what happened to their loved ones, and who may have been responsible.
Above all else, they include a need for basic recognition and respect for what they have endured.