Page last updated at 15:35 GMT, Thursday, 5 March 2009

Troubles group makes IRA appeal

Lord Eames and Deni Bradley
Lord Eames and Denis Bradley answered questions about their report

The group assessing the legacy of the Troubles has publicly appealed to the IRA for help with its work.

The Consultative Group on the Past issued a report in January with more than 30 recommendations based on 18 months of consultations.

Co-chairman Denis Bradley told an Irish all-party parliamentary committee in Dublin: "The only door that has been closed is that of the IRA."

He added: "I think it is going to be a disgrace if the IRA stand offside."

Lord Eames, the former Anglican Primate of all Ireland, and Denis Bradley, the former vice-chair of the Policing Board, presented their report earlier this year.

I know how difficult this will be because many people who were involved in the IRA want to get on with their lives and that is understandable
Denis Bradley
Some victims groups were angered by the recommendation that a 12,000 recognition payment be made to all families bereaved during the Troubles, including the relatives of paramilitaries.

The British government has ruled out the proposal.

Lord Eames and Mr Bradley made more than 30 other recommendations including a legacy commission which would take over the work of the Historical Enquiries Team, a specialist police unit set up to investigate unsolved killings throughout the Troubles.

Speaking at the committee which deals with the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, Mr Bradley made a direct appeal for help to the IRA.

"I know how difficult this will be because many people who were involved in the IRA want to get on with their lives and that is understandable.

"But ways must be found if any truth process is to take place in a comprehensive way."

Committee member Sinn Fein MP Pat Doherty warned the two men: "Be careful that you are not used by the British government to try to block exposure of what they were up to during the conflict."

Lord Eames said there was no pressure from the British government about how the group carried out their work.

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