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LEGACY CONSULTATION “Addressing the Legacy of Northern Ireland’s Past” IP: 188.8.131.52 Posted on 2/8/2018 at 15:01:40 by Dennis Laverick for RHQ
RHQ/RRF/1363 2nd August 2018
“Addressing the Legacy of Northern Ireland’s Past”
Background. During Op BANNER 1969 – 2007 over 250,000 service personnel served in Northern Ireland. Recently you will have seen extensive media coverage with reference to Northern Ireland’s legacy and read (probably with concern) that veterans are now being called as witnesses to Coroners inquests which are investigating a number of high profile deaths. Concurrently, there are also a number of PSNI investigations that could lead to possible criminal proceedings against veterans. See the Daily Telegraph, 01 Aug which refers to Sergeant ‘O’ Parachute Regiment and Bloody Sunday.
Yesterday Army Personnel Services (Pers Svcs) held a Legacy Forum at Warminster which updated Regimental Secretaries about the legacy issues of Northern Ireland. Presentations were given by Pers Svcs (Op Legacy), the MoD (Directorate Judicial Engagement Policy), The Regimental Secretary of the Parachute Regiment and the Northern Ireland Office.
Current Situation. More than 3,500 people were killed because of the Troubles. The hurt and suffering caused is still felt by people across Northern Ireland and beyond. Currently there are more than a thousand cases outstanding and there are over 50 open inquests into 100 Troubles-related deaths. Many of these cases still require investigation but there is general agreement that the current system in place to address outstanding cases is not delivering enough for victims, survivors and the wider society.
The MoD has two obligations. First, it must support the legal process as directed and second, it has a duty of care and responsibility to support those veterans who are called forward as witnesses or who are being investigated. However, it is widely accepted that the legal process is perceived by many as being biased against former members of the Armed Forces and also the support offered to veterans is not well understood and can vary on a case by case basis.
Way Forward. In the 2014 Stormont House Agreement, the UK Government gave a joint commitment to establish new institutions in an effort to meet the wide range of needs in a way that secures confidence across the community of Northern Ireland.
The Stormont House Agreement describes a new way of dealing with what happened in the past that tries to put the needs of the victims and survivors first. This new way would mean setting up four new legacy institutions. The Government thinks that the legacy institutions are the best way to try to meet the needs of victims and survivors. The four new legacy institutions would be: • the Historical Investigations Unit (HIU) • the Independent Commission on Information Retrieval (ICIR) • the Oral History Archive (OHA) • the Implementation and Reconciliation Group (IRG) A new law would be needed to create these institutions. A new law has been drafted as part of this consultation, for people to consider.
Consultation – Your chance to have your say. As part of the process the NIO has been tasked to consult widely about their proposals. Many of you will have views about the on-going legacy process and have expressed them to RHQ and to the wider army hierarchy in fairly blunt terms.
Now you have a chance to express those views through the consultation process. The NIO have assured us that all views will be considered and they were also up front in admitting that their proposals are not the only way of taking the NI Legacy issue forward.
They want to know what you think. Please tell them by reading:
• The consultation and associated documents which can be viewed on the NIO website at:
• Then by completing the survey online at: www.gov.uk/nio
• Writing to them at:
Legacy Policy Team Northern Ireland Office
Stormont House Stormont Estate
Belfast BT4 3SH
• By emailing them at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The consultation will close on Monday 10th September 2018 at 5.00pm.
If you feel strongly about this then please respond. It is your chance to affect the way legacy issues are looked at in the future.
Col (Retd) JW Denny MBE
Forever England, Forever Friends, Forever Family
Fusilier 50 - Celebrating 50 years of The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in 2018