Open Doors: Ex-prisoners/former combatants take part in legacy discussion
Ex-prisoners and former combatants who served time in jail for all the major paramilitary groupings have taken part in a discussion on legacy that involved Troubles victims as part of Co-operation Ireland’s Open Doors programme.
The event, at Crumlin Road Gaol, was organised by EPIC under the umbrella of The SEUPB Peace IV funded programme designed to help men and women released under the Good Friday Agreement.
The discussion, chaired by journalist Brian Rowan, heard from a range of groups, including victims, along with the Northern Ireland Office who were also represented.
Speaking after the event, Brian said such discussions were how the legacy issue could be tackled.
“I think the governments and parties have had their chance. Politics makes the Past a battle.
“We hear in conversations, such as the Open Doors event at Crumlin Road Jail, what is possible and what is not possible. The answers are in the room.
“If the new focus is on information, then there is a need to speak directly with those expected to deliver it.”
Brian added he didn’t think the issue could be resolved without assistance.
“We need outside help – an international team – to do that; to write a report/analysis of the conflict years with pens free of emotional ink.
“The governments and political parties need to give this process to people who can make it work. If they don’t, then we will bury ourselves and the next generations in those conflict years.”
Co-operation Ireland CEO Peter Sheridan said resolution was within the grasp of society.
“If you listened to the conversation in that room it was clear all the answers to our difficulties around legacy where there.
“The people who are closest to these issues are the ones who have the answers.”
To learn more about Open Doors click here.