Northern Ireland news

Raymond McCord questions absence of unionists from launch of legacy proposals

Raymond McCord questioned the absence of unionist representatives from the launch of the proposals. Picture by Hugh Russell
John Monaghan

VICTIMS campaigner Raymond McCord hit out at the absence of unionists at the launch of proposals aimed at breaking an impasse over legacy bodies.

Mr McCord, whose son Raymond was murdered by the UVF in 1997, questioned why unionist groups were not involved in the report or a panel discussion yesterday at Queen's University Belfast.

While elected representatives did attend at the launch, none were from unionist parties.

Mr McCord said he believed the unionist community would "not accept" the proposals.

Professor Kieran McEvoy, from Queen's, said: "The word from both the main unionist parties was that the national security debate needs to be resolved between the government and republicans. That is why they are not here."

Brian Gormally, from the Committee on the Administration of Justice, said the report's authors had been focused on "human rights issues" rather than "nationalist and unionist" perspectives.

"What do you do? How can you engage when they don't because they think it is all a conspiracy to convict soldiers?" he said.

"We are not going to abandon a human rights position in order to have some sort of false inclusivity."

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