NI Consultative Group on the Past


The recommendations of this Group - the most contentious of which is the proposal to give £12,000 to families of all the dead of the NI conflict regardless of innocence or guilt - are to be discussed in Westminster in the next few weeks.
No date has yet been decided. It will probably be fitted into the schedule at a time which enables ministers to discuss it with least knowledge by the public, as most of it has already been accepted in principle by those who will be seeing it through the House.
The difficult parts include the decision as to who constitutes the "family" now entitled to the payment, particularly those of the earlier years. Will it be divided and paid in equal amounts to surviving children for example? Another question is raised by the close relationships of many of the fatalities - do husband/wife deaths or parent/child deaths in the same incident get two payments?
Another point is the question of payment to the families of those permanently disabled - a "living death" situation, where continuous care for mental and physical damage is probably necessary for the remaining life of the victim. And what of those who died months and years after the incident which caused the eventually fatal injuries? What of those who took their own lives because of the terrorist caused death of a close relative - or who died from early poor health brought on by that situation? What of police officers and soldiers killed in road accidents while responding to incidents, terrorist or otherwise? Do their families qualify?
Are all previous compensation payments to be considered or reviewed?
This is a can of worms - watch for the ongoing story.


There's an E-petition currently being signed Here to stop these payments being made. As you so rightly point out, a can of worms indeed but the most contentious element being the right of payment to the families of the very perpetrators who carried out the murderous and despicable crimes. Please sign it. I'm not too sure if these things have any effect but at least we get a chance to make our feeling known!
Oliver Hughes, the brother of Francis of S Derry ASU infamy, was invited on to a BBC programme the other day to whinge about this. Interesting point this - did those who committed suicide count in this brilliant scheme to reward the infliction of terror? Technically they didn't die at the hands of their enemies, but fell on their own forks, so to speak.


This has been rejected in its current form and passed back to its originators with suggestions for re-jigging it. The different parts will probably be presented as separate proposals. Even the originators now realise it was a crass and stupid idea. It is unlikely the petition had anything to do with its rejection so we must be alert to a variation in the coming weeks.

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