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Consultative Group on the Past (Report)

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 28 January 2009

The Consultative Group on the Past will today be publishing a report, setting out the conclusions from the group’s work on how Northern Ireland society can best address the legacy of the events of the past 40 years in order to help continue to build a successful shared future.

The Government recognise the huge importance of this work and welcome the independent report. Dealing effectively with the legacy of the past is one of the most demanding issues facing Northern Ireland today. It is of fundamental importance to the people of Northern Ireland as we find a way to build a shared future which avoids being overwhelmed by the past.

The group has listened to a wide range of differing voices with great care and sensitivity. I am grateful to Lord Eames and Denis Bradley, and to all the members of the group for their work. The Government commend the group for its integrity and commitment.

The report makes a number of recommendations to which British and Irish Governments, and other stakeholders, will need to give very detailed and careful consideration. These are important issues. We all need to reflect carefully on the proposals.

I would also thank all those organisations, community groups and individuals who engaged with the work of the group over the past 18 months.

I have arranged to have copies of the group’s report placed in both Libraries of the Houses of Parliament.