FAIR
Representing Victims of Terrorism in South Armagh
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17.10.06
VICTIMS RESPONSE --- DEAL OR NO DEAL

Victims are being asked for the opinion on the St Andrew’s proposal and our mutual response is we are ourselves engaged in consultation with our members, other groups, the political parties and academics. Like so many deals the devil is always in the detail and it will take time to form a definitive opinion.

Our first point is that after meeting with senior members of the DUP, UUP and SDLP we were told that there would not be a deal and despite the moves on Friday that is still our understanding that the document produced on Friday may be agreed by the Governments but not the parties. It is indeed a work in progress and one clouded by unresolved issues which are still being resolved by committee and other means. This and any side deals or Prime Minister’s pledges do not instil us with confidence.

Secondly the origins and developments of the deal not to mention the St Andrews backdrop also raise our fears. It is born out of the bribery and blackmail of the nefarious Peter Hain. Many issues such as rates, local government reform were engineered to force the head of unionists and were bartered by the government as easy concessions to ensure co-operation.

Thirdly victims have many questions for the politicians not least what they have secured in terms of victims issues. There were a range of issues central and vital to victims which would go a long way to convincing the sector of the success of our politicians.

In conclusion we aim to meet the political parties over the next week to get answers to fundamental questions. We will then also draw on expert and academic opinion on issues such as security and verification. Throughout we will inform and canvass the opinion of our membership and other victims groups. Our loved ones did not give their lives so that this generation could simply buy an imperfect peace. It is our duty to future generations that this is a genuine and lasting peace that will destroy terrorism and its criminal hold on our country and ensure justice and equality for all.

 



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