Posted by: the watchmen | February 25, 2009

Stand Up, Mr Churchill!

Wednesday, 25th February 2009
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Sign InRegisterGovernment rules out victims’ payment

Lord Eames and Denis Bradley

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A CONTROVERSIAL recognition payment for victims’ of the Troubles is to be scrapped.
Last month, the Consultative Group on the Past, headed by Lord Eames and Denis Bradley, recommended a £12,000 payment to the families of all victims, including dead paramilitaries.

The proposal as part of a report dealing with the legacy of the Troubles caused fury among victims’ groups and unionist politicians.

Speaking on Wednesday, Secretary of State Shaun Woodward expressed concern at the lack of consensus on the issue.

“I have decided however we proceed on this report, and there are many things I would like to consider in it, I do not think I will be proposing that this particular recommendation is one we should go forward on,” he told the BBC.

TUV leader Jim Allister believes the decision was taken following strong pressure from innocent victims of the Troubles.

“Those who made it clear that they would not accept a payment which would imply that they see no difference between those who suffered from terrorism and those who perpetrated it are to be congratulated for their principled stand,” he said.

Mr Allister expressed concern at other proposals included within the original 300-page report, including a five-year legacy commission to investigate some of the 3,600 killings.

Alliance leader David Ford said the payment issue was “severely undermining the good aspects of the report”.

Welcoming the decision, he added: “There is a need to recognise the suffering of victims’ families, but such payments were not the right way to do so.

“It is clear that there was major opposition to these payments from a broad spectrum of groups through Northern Ireland.”

The announcement by Shaun Woodward comes on the same day as Lord Eames and Mr Bradley are due to appear before the Northern Ireland Select Committee at Westminster.


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