Minister Dermot Ahern Welcomes establishment of Northern Ireland Victims Commission
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Dermot Ahern T.D., today welcomed the announcement of the establishment of the Northern Ireland Victims Commission.
Minister Dermot Ahern said:
“The Commission is faced with a task as important as it is challenging. We are determined to look forward and work towards a better, peaceful future in Northern Ireland, so that no new generation has to bear the awful suffering of the past. But we must not forget those who continue to cope every day with their own personal legacies of pain and grief.
It is vital that adequate services and funding are in place to meet the ongoing needs of victims and survivors, of carers and of those who have been traumatised. “
The Minister added, “The proposal for a victims’ and survivors’ forum is also very important as a way of directly involving the voices and ideas of those most affected in discussions on these issues.
I expect that each Commissioner will bring their own energy, ideas and experience to their new task. Bertha McDougall can take forward her valuable work as Interim Victims’ Commissioner. Brendan McAllister’s background in mediation will be an asset as the Commission engages with issues which evoke a powerful emotional as well as political response in the community. The expertise which Mike Nesbitt and Patricia MacBride bring to bear will be essential to giving voice to victims needs.
I look forward to learning the details of the work plan and vision for the Commission’s work.
I expect that the Consultative Group on dealing with the past, led by Denis Bradley and Archbishop Robin Eames, will work closely with the new Commission as they continue their consultations. How to best deal with the legacy of the Troubles is a question for everyone, but understanding the needs of victims is central to that debate.”
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