Fianna Faìil Senator Niall Blaney has said the UK Government is continuing to take a ‘reckless approach’ with its proposed Legacy Bill.
The bill, which is going through its parliamentary stages at Westminster, would see a form of immunity offered to those suspected of killings during the conflict if they agree to co-operate with a new truth recovery body.
It would also prohibit future civil cases and inquests related to Troubles crimes.
It has been almost universally opposed by parties across the political divide in Northern Ireland, as well as all victims’ groups. The Irish Government is also opposed to the plan.
“The UK Government has taken a reckless approach such that every political and human rights organisation in this country opposes what it is doing,” Senator Blaney said.
“It goes completely against a victim-centred approach and is wrong. I appeal to the UK Government to withdraw the Bill and restart with a victim-centred approach.”
He added the bill would reopen old wounds and increase tensions in Northern Ireland, rather than promoting healing and reconciliation.
“From my negotiations with Conservative party members and other political parties in Westminster, it is clear that the legacy bill is the priority for the UK Government. I fear that the consequences for that will mean the protocol bill will lie there without proper engagement until such time that the legacy bill is passed. This is pushing progress in Northern Ireland further down the line and it must be called out,” added Senator Blaney.