Northern Ireland

Sir Declan Morgan - Have your say on the work of the Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery

Under the British government's controversial legacy legislation, the Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery will aim to provide information to families, victims and survivors of Troubles-related deaths and serious injury, while promoting reconciliation. Its Chief Commissioner-designate Sir Declan Morgan urges the public to have their say in how it will work...

The British government's legacy bill is in its very final stages before becoming law. Picture by PA
The British government's legacy bill is in its very final stages before becoming law. Picture by PA The British government's legacy bill is in its very final stages before becoming law. Picture by PA

I began my work as the incoming Chief Commissioner of the Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery last month.

The legislation to establish the Commission formally is in its very final stages before becoming law. I have already had the opportunity to meet with many of the organisations across our society which have been working in this space for many years.

I have been asked difficult questions and I have heard about people’s very painful experiences.

And this has reinforced my belief that we will best serve our communities if we go about the Commission’s work in a way which listens to people’s needs and tries to reflect their worries.

Of course, I will be continuing to meet with and talk to as many organisations and individuals as possible, and so will my fellow-Commissioners once they are appointed.

But at this initial stage, I want to take the opportunity to ask people directly what they want to see in the Commission and how it can work for them.

For this reason, today we are launching a public survey which anyone will be able to respond to.

You can access the survey on our website and fill it in for free. Once the survey closes, we will report on what people have told us and how we’re going to take forward our work based on what we have heard. 

This is an important initial opportunity for you to tell us how you want the Commission to work.

For instance, how do you want us to protect the confidentiality of people who talk to us while providing transparency about our work?

How do you want us to prioritise our reviews?

How do we ensure the Commission is staffed by people who understand Northern Ireland and can exercise judgement independently?

How should we be accountable for our use of public money, while independent of politicians? Your views matter.

We want to hear from everyone – all of us here, as well as those affected by the Troubles in the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain.

From those who have direct experiences, those who work with families, victims and survivors and those who are simply part of this community.

Whether you support or oppose the Legacy Bill proposals, we want to hear from you about how we can make the Commission work in a way that reflects people’s needs.

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Your response will be anonymous and confidential and the data will help us understand how people want us to carry out our work to find out information about the past and work towards reconciliation. 

You can find out more about the survey and about the Commission’s work on the ICRIR website. I do hope that you will feel able to respond to the survey, start a dialogue with us and help us develop more detailed proposals for how the Commission can work.

:: Sir Declan Morgan is the former Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, and the Chief Commissioner-designate of the Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery. You can access the survey at https://icrir.independent-inquiry.uk/have-your-say-in-our-survey/