CoI Gazette denounces attempt to resurrect Eames Bradley

Gladys had a blog on Sunday Sequence’s interview with two former members of the Consultative Group on the Past: Denis Bradley and Rev. Lesley Carroll in which they called for Eames Bradley to be looked at again. My comments on Eames Bradley are posted below. It seems, however, that Gladys and myself are not the only ones to have picked up on the potential appearance of an undead Eames Bradley. The editorial in this weeks Church of Ireland Gazette will … Read more

Eames Bradley: if it is coming back; time to fight it again

When I went trekking in Africa one summer with my sister I remember meeting a game warden with a Kalashnikov assault rifle in the Masai Mara. I enquired whether it was to stop poachers. He said no it was really for crocodiles and explained that if one tries to attack you the only solution is to keep shooting it until it stops moving. Then if there is any sign of life keep firing at it. Gladys has a blog below … Read more

MI5 make conditional offer on Finucane – WikiLeaks

Unless Iran is your patch, this is probably the most interesting Wikileaks outing to date. The Security Service’s offer is revealed in a cable from June 2005, written by the US ambassador to Dublin, James C Kenny, which reported on a meeting between the head of MI5 and Mitchell Reiss, the US special envoy to Northern Ireland. In an account of the meeting between Reiss and Ahern, the ambassador wrote: “Reiss briefed him on his talks in London, including with … Read more

Spain is the current model for dealing with the past

Liam Clarke has been made aware that post Franco Spain rather than South Africa is the current model for dealing with the past. He seems to be the only MSM journalist to pick up Owen Paterson’s interesting Steinberg lecture which I drew attention to last week. Spain passed an Act of Oblivion for all the atrocities committed during a civil war and aftermath  that cost a million lives. Are we up for something similar?  See Michael Portillo’s essay on his … Read more

Woodward bombshell on Troubles legacy

The unlikely figure of Shaun Woodward has blown apart the smooth surface of Westminster consensus by launching an attack on his successor for dilatoriness in tackling the legacy of the Troubles. In a long and impassioned speech in a debate on the Saville report, Woodward accused Secretary of State Owen Paterson of stalling a decision on a public inquiry into the Finucane murder and dealing with other major incidents like Claudy, Omagh and Ballymurphy. ” We can’t say to the … Read more

Delay no longer: face up to the Past

While  unsurprisingly more tentative, it is some kind of vindication that the Victims Commissioners’ report isn’t so very different from the rejected efforts of  Eames- Bradley. True, it drops the wretched recognition payments in favour of victims’ needs assessments and suggests a timetable for what it quaintly calls a ” design process” to be completed by autumn of next year. The Executive parties mustn’t be let near the process they say. This is a task for the two governments consulting civil society … Read more

Guantanamo torture inquiry may have implications for Northern Ireland

The imminent announcement of a judge led inquiry into allegations of torture involving MI5 complicity is being welcomed by civil liberties groups in Britain. The inquiry is expected to offer compensation in cases, where necessary, and is likely to be held in private. A judge-led inquiry or commission may have the advantage of bringing together the 13 separate compensation cases currently going through the courts. Those cases are leading to complex demands for the disclosure of documents that the intelligence … Read more

Where’s the government’s response to Eames/Bradley?

Brian’s suggestion to “Look again now at the legacy commission” pre-empted Mark Devenport’s discussion of that topic on Inside Politics with, among others, the former Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Peter Hain.  From Mark Devenport’s blog On cost, Mr Hain argued that now justice has been devolved the expense of whatever truth recovery process is embarked upon will have to be borne by the devolved budget. This echoes the sentiment of the Westminster Northern Ireland Affairs Committee which argued in its … Read more

Look again now at the legacy commission

While the past should not nor cannot be forgotten as Eamonn rightly says, the question is how best to deal with it. Reconciliation or justice? appears to be the choice before us if moves towards winding down legal process gain traction.  It’s no easy decision and advocates of further legal action have by no means lost the battle. Saville’s para 4.7,  in which he’s unable to confirm or deny the existence of  a “culture” of impunity towards the army may … Read more

CoI prelate snubs church magazine on Eames Bradley

Sunday Sequence carried an article this morning about the disagreement between the Church of Ireland Gazette and the Bishop of Clogher, Michael Jackson (also covered on William Crawley’s blog). Bishop Jackson was chairman of the CoI’s working group on the Eames Bradley proposals (though we learned in the process of the Sunday Sequence report that not all the committee members attended the meetings). The working group’s comments are mostly as one might expect; albeit somewhat mealy-mouthed. However, on the Ford … Read more

The ongoing downfall of Eames Bradley

Pete Baker has blogged on the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee’s view on Eames Bradley below. The saga of the decline and fall of the Eames Bradley report is something of a morality tale in itself. It began with the hubris of Dennis Bradley and the noble Lord who suggested at its outset it was “hugely important for the future to deal properly with the past.” He said collective memory could affect a whole community. “Memory is a very precious thing … Read more

“while we do not recommend that the Legacy Commission go ahead as proposed..”

The House of Commons Northern Ireland Affairs Committee has published its report on the Consultative Group on the Past in NI’s report. There’s a BBC report and an Irish Times report on it. Brief report highlights here and the full report is available here. From the report’s conclusions and recommendations 19. We believe that the proposed mechanisms for truth recovery and thematic investigation do not represent viable courses of action with which families, victims and paramilitaries will engage. In treading … Read more

The Strategy for Victims and Survivors..

The low-key launch of the NI Office the Northern Ireland First and deputy First Ministers’ proposals to, amongst other things, reform funding of what NI Finance Minister Sammy Wilson has referred to as “a victims industry”, has been followed by a low-key written statement to the NI Assembly on the publication of the Strategy for Victims and Survivors [pdf file]. Now it’s up to the victims industry Victims Forum and those Victims Commissioners. [And how are the talks on the … Read more

Tories to dump Eames Bradley?

The BBC are reporting that Dennis Bradley has suggested that if they win the next General Election, the Conservatives will bin the Eames Bradley report. Bradley was speaking at the Progressive Unionist party Conference and said: “If what I am hearing is correct, the Conservatives will bin this report. “In its place they will suggest a memorial hospital and a moving on, leaving the past behind,” Mr Bradley added: “It will not be as crude as that but it will … Read more

Eames Bradley next phase

A couple of weeks ago Denis Bradley tried to defend and maybe even re introduce the £12,000 payment for the relatives of victims which had provoked so much anger when the Eames Bradley report was launched. Mick has already noted Malachi O’Doherty’s blog where Malachi explains that Bradley claimed at the John Hewitt summer school that the payment idea came from the victims commission. The last discussion on slugger focused on whether or not Bradley’s version of events was correct. … Read more

“The talks are likely to stretch into September..”

In the Belfast Telegraph, Noel McAdam reports that Secretary of State Shaun Woodward has invited the political parties to talks next month on how to advance the controversial Eames/ Bradley proposals on dealing with the legacy of the Troubles. The talks are likely to stretch into September as part of wider public consultations on the report by the Consultative Group on the Past. Good luck with that one, Shaun.. And don’t forget about those “patently inadequate” safeguards, nevermind whether all … Read more

Eames begins to admit report’s errors?

Below I have posted a few thoughts on collective guilt following Rev Harold Miller’s comments. Miller himself of course made mention of what is fast becoming the central religious text of the collective guilt brigade: the Eames Bradley report. The high priest of collective guilt (the noble lord himself) once proudly pronounced at the start of the report “The Group has endeavoured to remain true to what has been said during the consultation. It will now be up to the … Read more

Hippies but not Eames Bradley mark midsummer’s day

Sunday was of course Mid summer’s day: hardly a shattering revelation. The hippies, druids, Morris Dancers and assorted New Age types seem to have had a good time at Stonehenge. Midsummers day had also been proposed by the Eames Bradley Consultative Group on the Past Report as a “Day of Reflection and Reconciliation.” Interestingly I could find no mention of the idea this Mid Summer’s Day (the first since the report was published). The Group had suggested: The Group recommends … Read more

Lord Eames and moving on

The Noble Lord Eames has kept a fairly low profile since the glitteringly successful launch of his personal credibility self destruction campaign (also known as the Consultative Group on the Past Report). One of the problems for Eames is that now that his brief period in the limelight (rather uncomfortable as it turned out) is over he has to go back to being a retired CoI prelate; one who is now rather unpopular with the overwhelming majority of his former … Read more

Eames Bradley and last week

I have practically no doubt that one of my least favourite prelates condemns unreservedly the murders of last week. The major problem is that Eames Bradley could scarcely propose anything other than the rapid arrest of the terrorists involved in last week’s events, their prosecution and prolonged imprisonment. To do anything else now would reduce their battered credibility, already almost zero, into significant minus numbers.However, in their report Eames Bradley did not suggest the prosecution of the terrorists under the … Read more