Sinn Fein responds to victims plan
Sinn Fein responds to victims plan

Republicans should cooperate with a commission to establish the truth about the conflict but only if it is independent and organised by an international body, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said this week.

Mr Adams made the call during the launch of his party’s submission to proposals made nine months ago by Britain’s ‘truth panel’.

He said a body such as the United Nations should get involved and form a truth commission for the Six Counties.

Mr Adams said if that happened he would then encourage republicans to play a full role in the process.

In its 69-page document, Sinn Fein detailed responses to each of the recommendations being considered by the Dublin and London governments.

Mr Adams rejected the proposal of a legacy commission, saying he “would not cooperate with it” because it would not be independent and international.

“What we need is a thing that will work that we can get to the core of what caused conflict and the detail of all the events and the killings,” he said.

“The core of it all is to ensure that by having independence and best practice you will get the maximum involvement of everyone.”

Mr Adams said ‘Lord’ Robin Eames and Denis Bradley, who comprised the so-called ‘Consultative Group on the Past’, made “some good, solid recommendations”.

“However, no-one would accept Sinn Fein setting up a truth commission so no-one should accept the British government setting up a truth commission,” he said.

“Let’s bring in those who are not partisan who can share best practice from other places.”

Mr Adams said a truth commission would have to be independent of Britain so that it could also look at the state’s role in the conflict.

“The proposed legacy commission is not an independent, international truth-recovery process,” he said.

“For a truth-recovery process to be successful and to deliver for bereaved families and survivors, it needs to have maximum participation.

“I would call on republicans to participate and play a full role in an independent, international truth commission.”

Mr Adams said the two governments should authorise a “reputable body, such as the UN to devise and implement a process which will guarantee independence and ensure confidence and participation in any future truth commission”.

Asked whether he would take part in such a commission, Mr Adams said he would be there.

“If I’m not you can come back and remind me,” he said.

The paper dismissed as “breathtaking in its political bias” a recommendation that political parties and paramilitary groups should sign a declaration never to kill or injure again on political grounds.

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© 2009 Irish Republican News