Defence Secretary Williamson revealed as private backer of an amnesty for soldiers

Despite this Sun ” exclusive,”  the ambitious Defence Secretary – the man who as chief whip negotiated the Conservative-DUP parliamentary deal – will have other things on his mind today – like which way will he jump on Theresa May’s Brexit plan?   GAVIN Williamson has secretly backed an amnesty for IRA terrorists — as the price for ending the witch-hunt of troops, The Sun can reveal. The Defence Secretary wants Theresa May to grant British troops who served in Northern …

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The British goverment must set a better example before the case for an amnesty is properly heard

Adrian Guelke a  South African a  Queen’s academic and a leading authority on post-conflict resolution joins the growing list of reputable figures calling for an amnesty. He criticises the two governments for lack of involvement (although the unfortunate  Eamon Gilmore can’t be faulted for trying almost right up  to the moment of his resignation as Labour leader) Extracts. An unfortunate sequence of events has unfolded that has the potential to threaten the peace, including the failure of the Haass talks, histrionics …

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Lamentation over the Boston tapes does not prevent us dealing with the past

Newton Emerson ‘s bleak assessment of how to deal with the past deserves serious attention (£). The Boston College tapes make a mockery of all high-blown talk about “dealing with the past”. The idea that a formal process of investigation, truth recovery and historical assessment into 3,700 Troubles deaths could work at all, let alone satisfy all sides, looks absurd given the saga over one 42-year-old case. As far as personal testimony is concerned the chilling effect of the use …

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Boston College tapes unlikely to lead Adams to gaol but suggest any truth process is pointless

The arrest and charging of Ivor Bell has been covered already on Slugger and below Mick has mentioned the fact that Gerry Adams has made himself available to questioning by the PSNI. Although the McConville family remain hopeful many have suggested that it is inconceivable that Adams will be prosecuted. Adams has repeatedly denied that he had anything to do with Jean McConville’s murder just as he has denied that he was ever in the IRA. He has also claimed …

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From lawyers to Haass. No truth recovery without a conditional amnesty

Following the historians’ pitch from Arkiv, it’s the turn of the lawyers.  Prof Kieran McEvoy in the Irish Times makes the case I agree with, for a conditional amnesty as part of truth recovery.   He makes the telling point that the historical cases review is unlikely to lead to more than a handful of prosecutions. Even if the number was greater than expected, is it worth going through the long and chancy process for the sake of a nominal two …

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