Adams calls for Truth Commission
Adams calls for Truth Commission

An independent truth commission, including international experts, should be considered for dealing with the past conflict, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said on Tuesday.

Mr Adams criticised present British government arrangements for addressing the past and said any probe should deal with all sufferers equally.

He was speaking at a meeting in west Belfast to highlight state collusion in murder during the last 30 years.

“Some of the groups are looking at an international independent truth commission, that is something, which as a party, we will also look at, but it has to be victim-centred and it has to be positive,” he said. “It has to be part of a healing process.”

Sinn Féin supporters will also wear black ribbons to highlight their call for truth about British Crown force involvement in killings.

These include the 1989 UDA murder of Belfast defence lawyer Pat Finucane and the decision by the Public Prosecution Service not to charge anybody after Lord Stevens’s inquiry into the death.

Earlier this summer former British Direct Ruler Peter Hain announced an independent panel, including former Church of Ireland leader Lord Robin Eames and former Policing Board vice-chairman Denis Bradley, to debate ways of dealing with more than 3,000 unsolved murders.

Mr Adams questioned the group’s freedom.

“As we continue to deal with matters of social and economic need, as we continue to roll out the equality agenda we also have to deal with this type of issue.

“We will not deal with it by a British Secretary of State in the last two days of his tenure bringing in the type of study group that he has brought in.

“I have problems in relation to its remit, my strong suspicion in all of these issues is that it`s a matter of trying to string this out and just a waste of time on the issue.”

He added the intentions of many of its members were honourable but that all victims should be given equal priority.

Republicans will gather on Sunday to mark the 26th anniversary of the introduction of the British policy of internment without trial

West Belfast MP Mr Adams said the problem of sectarianism between Protestants and Catholics had still to be dealt with.

“It is about collusion and trying to shine a light on that dimension of the unfinished business of this ongoing process.”

One victim, Jim Clinton, whose wife Theresa was killed by loyalists over a decade ago in her Ormeau Road home in south Belfast, said: “We have the entitlement to know what happens.

“We are the people who suffered, we are the people whose loved ones were taken away, we are the people who have had to live with that over the past number of years.

“We are entitled to know why and who ordered the killing of our loved ones. There’s no back doors in this.”

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