Clara Reilly Chairperson of Relatives for Justice explains why families should attend:
“This conference is very important. In the past two years particularly families have seen the establishment of the institutions in Stormont, the introduction of the Historical Enquiries Team and the Police Ombudsman making reports on some cases. There are deep fears that families’ needs will not be met and somehow forgotten about as the rest of society moves on.
“This conference will directly address the shortcomings of state sponsored initiatives like the Historical Enquiries Team and the Eames/Bradley consultation. And most importantly the people within our organisations will present our agreed principles on a model of a truth commission that we believe will move families and their cases forward. This is a departure for all of our organisations and the process to getting this point has been very long and very detailed. We need to speak with the families we work with first and that is why we are having this conference. All families who are members of RFJ, PFC, An Fhírinne, Ardoyne Commemoration Project, Justice for the Forgotten should come and be part of the discussion. It is a family conference with small workshops for families to discuss the issues of truth and justice.
“It is vital that families are empowered with information so that collectively our voice can have a positive impact and influence in ensuring that all of the outstanding issues affecting our families are addressed as part of the broader process. “Dealing with the Past is the last outstanding issue and it is time it was dealt with – our families need to put it on the political agenda. If families don’t do it no one else will do it for us – we are appealing to families to come.
“We know that it is a very busy time of the year and that Saturdays coming up to Christmas are often jam packed but we are appealing to families to send at least one representative to the conference.”
The conference begins at 10am and families should phone Relatives for Justice to register on 90220100.