Today’s statement by Gerry Adams and information on how former members of the IRA participated in the Smithwick Inquiry are very important.
Everyone should read it carefully http://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/20825.
During the consultation on how we deal with the past or the “Eames Bradley” consultation Relatives for Justice suggested an independent process that held private hearings so that representatives of the main combatants could answer questions relating to certain incidents as part of an Irish Truth Commission. This was but one element of Relatives for Justice’ comprehensive submission to the Consultation that addressed a wide range of issues, including victims’ rights and state accountability.
The current terse, one-sided and difficult debate about past non-state combatants and victims of the IRA is in stark contrast to the spirit of the Eames Bradely recommendations which, while imperfect undoubtedly attempted to be inclusive of all actors and all victims.
While the response to that document from the British Government remains outstanding, the debate is raging on how we deal with our past. We are in grave danger of society becoming irrevocably irreconciled over our past as we try to build a reconciled future.
Both governments must become engaged. Not because of the dangers of what will happen if we don’t – but for the benefits when we do at last build a shared inclusive narrative of our past.