RFJ’s Response to Shaun Woodward’s Statement

‘Woodward has capitulated to the backwoods men and political dinosaurs of unionism’

Speaking on today’s announcement by Shaun Woodward that the proposal of a one-off Recognition Payment to all the families of those bereaved as a result of the conflict is to be scrapped Relatives for Justice Chairperson Clara Reilly said;

‘Today’s decision by British Secretary of State Shaun Woodward scrapping the Recognition Payment for all victims of the conflict underlines the total lack of independence around the Eames/Bradley process whereby the British Government can arbitrarily abolish this proposal without any consultation whatsoever.

‘This equally sends a signal that the British Government can effectively remove those elements of Eames/Bradley proposals that contain the potential to address issues such as collusion and the systemic nature of State violence thus rendering the whole Eames/Bradley process impotent calling into question the entire process before it even gets off the ground.

‘The Recognition Payment was a very tangible and admirable demonstration of the commitment of Eames/Bradley to equality for all victims and an ending of the hierarchy of victimhood and therefore singularly important in that context. This will be seen as the thin end of the wedge in terms of those seeking to redefine the definition of victims and survivors which must be vehemently resisted.

‘For Relatives for Justice the primary objective is for truth and justice for all, however since the announced proposals it has been abundantly evident that the Recognition Payment was important to many, many families across the broad political and religious spectrums. Rather than responding to the views of politicians Shaun Woodward should have engaged those directly bereaved from across the community.

‘Instead Shaun Woodward has capitulated to the backwoods men and political dinosaurs of unionism endorsing their sectarian viewpoint of who and who is not a victim rather than being respondent to the needs of those bereaved and injured. He has equally failed to understand the requirements of families from across the community who welcomed thisproposal and has unfortunately added to families’ hurt, pain and trauma.