Reconciliation requires honesty about the past

Dolores Kelly.

Dolores Kelly.

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True reconciliation requires all those involved in the violence of conflict to be honest about what happened in the past, SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly has said

Mrs Kelly was speaking during an Assembly debate into BBC documentaries into collusion.

She said: “Both historical and recent documentaries on security force activity in the North during the conflict have revealed that collusion was endemic. Panorama, Spotlight and last night’s RTÉ documentary show the extent to which the agents of the British state supported paramilitaries and turned a blind eye to the murder and mayhem caused by those under their influence. That is unacceptable and those involved must be brought to justice.

“What we have seen since is an industrial scale attempt to rewrite history. That was evident in the debate when Caitriona Ruane refused to talk about victims of IRA violence. No group and no party can be immune from scrutiny or the rigours of the law as we try to advance reconciliation. That means people like Mairia Cahill, Shauna Moreland, Denise Mullen and the scores of others who were traumatised by paramilitaries must have access to the truth they deserve and the justice they need.

“The closing of ranks within paramilitary groups, within the security services and within some political parties is nothing new. But it must continue to be opposed.

“Whether it’s collusion, the disappeared or any other atrocity of the past, we must all continue to press for truth and champion reconciliation.”