Friday 23 March 2018

Hard decisions will have to be taken if we are to deal with legacy of the Troubles

John Downing

John Downing

THAT grainy black and white photograph of Jean McConville, with three of her 10 children so smilingly happy to be with their mother, does not seem a great starting point for a conversation about how we deal with our violent past on this island of Ireland.

The image is a haunting and heartbreaking one for anyone with a smidgen of humanity. It is of itself a strong argument for continuing rigorous investigations into past wrongs.

But after four very noisy days during which Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has been in PSNI custody in Antrim, we really do have to think about how the past is to be dealt with. Across the world, the Northern Ireland peace process is being studied as a model of conflict resolution.

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