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Bradshaw says we must do all we can to provide access to truth and justice for victims, after Assembly backs Alliance amendment

Alliance MLA Paula Bradshaw has said we must do all we can to provide access to truth, justice and accountability for families of victims, after the Assembly backed an Alliance amendment to a motion on legacy issues.

The amendment reiterated the Assembly’s opposition to UK Government plans for an amnesty for those being investigated over killings during the Troubles, noted the concern over the lack of progress into an investigation over the killing of Co Tyrone man Ian Sproule in 1991, a case in which collusion between the IRA and the Garda was alleged, and recognised the need for the UK and Irish Governments to exchange information integral to legacy investigations while facilitating access to truth and justice for affected victims and their families in claims of collusion.

“Alliance’s amendment was an attempt to ensure the motion enjoyed unanimous consent in the Assembly, which I believe is essential for the Sproule family and others,” said South Belfast MLA Ms Bradshaw.

“The UK Government’s plans to address the legacy of the past by introducing a statute of limitations are unacceptable and are opposed by all the Assembly parties. Taking away the possibility of justice from the loved ones of victims is disgraceful, while also making a mockery of the claim we are all equally subject to the law.

“I pay tribute to the campaigners in the case of Ian Sproule and they have Alliance’s full support. While it is not for this Assembly to direct how authorities in a different jurisdiction should ensure a case is progressed, seeking a fair and proportionate investigation regardless of the jurisdiction in which the offence was committed is important and correct.

“However, the UK Government’s withdrawal from past agreements through its standalone plan makes it difficult to imagine any investigation occurring, regardless of the jurisdiction. We must do all we can to provide access to truth, justice and accountability for all those affected, not remove it. Sadly, the campaigners in the case of Ian Sproule are among many who would suffer if the UK Government’s proposals were to come to pass.”