6/22/2007

Are we ready to tell the truth?

That's the one big concern that I have with the new group that has been appointed to make recommendations on how best to probe our troubled past.



The group is being headed up by former head of the Church of Ireland Robin Eames and for Deputy Chair of the Policing Board Denis Bradley. They will be joined by a panel of six which includes former Armagh GAA captain Jarleth Burns.

This group with then have two international advisors in the form of former Finnish PM Martti Ahtisaari and South African Lawyer Brian Currin.

It is this group of eight which will decide if a Truth Commission similar to that set up in South Africa should be established or whether some other route to dealing with the hurt should be used.

Doubts have already been raised about the independence of the group by Sinn Féin MLA Francie Malloy who said the British government would have the final say on any recommendations made.

"Inevitably serious concerns do and will arise from the fact that the group is appointed by the British government and will report back to the British government which will have the final say on any recommendations."

Robin Eames has said however that they had sought and been given a guarantee of total independence and among the things they would do would be to review much of the work from the past carried out by government and non government groups.

For me personally I believe that some form of Truth Commission similar to South Africa is necessary. The main problem I foresee is will those parties concerned tell the truth.

I am thinking about the issue of State Collusion with Unionist death squads, the state murder of civilians which many deluded souls still don't believe occurred.

For this process to happen we need all the parties of the conflict to participate and tell the truth. I'm talking about the IRA, the British Government and their proxy death squads in Unionist areas.

We don't need public immunity certificates coming from the Brits and nonsense about "in the interests of national security". All that would do is to make a mockery of the entire process.

The victims of this conflict deserve at least some degree of closure; I'm just worried that the parties concerned are not prepared to be truthful at this stage.

I hope I'm wrong!

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