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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 October 2006, 06:04 GMT 07:04 UK
Troubles legacy 'needs addressed'
Car set on fire during riot
The Alliance Party says the Troubles cannot be denied
Northern Ireland needs an independent commission on the Troubles and its legacy, the Alliance Party has said.

The party urged the British and Irish governments to appoint experts to deal with outstanding issues.

Party leader David Ford disagreed with those who argue "focusing on the past is counter-productive, keeps wounds open, and that society should move on".

Mr Ford said addressing the legacy was fundamental to "reconciliation and building a shared future".

"The failure to do this in a comprehensive and holistic manner is a barrier to political progress," he added.

David Ford
All elements of society, including the state and the paramilitaries need to confront the legacy of past actions
David Ford
Alliance Party leader
Mr Ford said many existing efforts to deal with the past had been "handled on a very piecemeal basis".

Although he acknowledged there had been "some significant efforts to improve services to victims", he said it was "time to bring these efforts together".

"A number of particular areas relating to the victims of violence should be seriously considered.

"These include memorials, a possible annual day of reflection and remembrance, a forum of testimonials to enable victims to place their memories on record, and most crucially, a mechanism to address truth recovery.

"But there are other legacies of the past to be dealt with, such as the fate of 'exiles' and the effect of a history of paramiltarism and division on some communities.

"All elements of society, including the state and the paramilitaries need to confront the legacy of past actions."


SEE ALSO
On-the-runs back to haunt talks
08 Oct 06 |  Northern Ireland
Victim services 'need fresh plan'
22 Jun 06 |  Northern Ireland
What defines a victim in NI?
26 Oct 05 |  Northern Ireland
Seeking refuge from the Troubles
20 May 05 |  Northern Ireland
NI settlement 'linked to parades'
25 Jun 05 |  Northern Ireland

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