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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 January 2008, 10:45 GMT
'Trust' issue over victims' role
Bertha McDougall and Mike Nesbitt
Bertha McDougall and Mike Nesbitt are to be appointed
Northern Ireland's first victims' commissioner believes there is a lack of trust within the community to give the job to just one person.

Sir Kenneth Bloomfield was speaking after it emerged that four new victims' commissioners are to be appointed.

It is understood they include former TV presenter Mike Nesbitt and ex-interim victims' commissioner Bertha McDougall.

Sir Kenneth said he was pleased that appointments were being made after a lengthy wait.

"Four does seem rather a large number," he said.

"But I think the reality of the thing is that there isn't yet sufficient trust on either side of the community to identify an individual with sufficient integrity to represent everybody.

"That's a very great pity and I believe there are such people. But the confidence doesn't seem to exist to go for such a person."

burning car
The post is aimed at promoting the interests of Troubles victims

He said that a recommendation made in his 1998 report "We Shall Remember Them" to the then secretary of state, Mo Mowlam, was that there should be a "kind of guardian of victims' interests".

"It's good that something should be done, but it's certainly not quite what I expected," he said.

An announcement is expected in the assembly about the position next week.

It follows a lengthy process, including a job readvertisement last autumn.

It is believed Brendan McAllister of Mediation Northern Ireland and Patricia MacBride will also be appointed.

The post is intended to promote the interests of victims of the Troubles.

Ministers criticised over victims
08 Oct 07 |  Northern Ireland
Pressure to explain victims delay
27 Sep 07 |  Northern Ireland
What defines a victim in NI?
26 Oct 05 |  Northern Ireland

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