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Voluntary Sector: Legacy of the Past

Volume 608: debated on Wednesday 20 April 2016

6. What assessment her Department has made of the role of the voluntary sector in dealing with the legacy of the past. (904518)

In working to build consensus for the Stormont House agreement institutions on the past, I have held a number of very constructive meetings with voluntary groups who support and represent victims, as well as with victims themselves.

The Secretary of State will be aware of the reconciliation work performed by the Peace Centre, which is based in Warrington. Support is given to those on both sides of the Irish sea affected by terrorism, although the majority of the funding is provided by the Irish, not the UK, Government. Will the Secretary of State agree to meet me and members of the Foundation for Peace to discuss whether we can do more on this issue?

I would be very happy to do that. I enjoyed my visit to the Peace Centre, and I have the highest regard for the work done by the centre and its various programmes to support the victims of Northern Ireland terrorism and other victims.

Order. We are discussing matters appertaining to the victims of terrorism, and that matter must be treated with respect, as must the hon. Member.

How much recognition and cognisance does the Secretary of State give to victims’ groups representing innocent victims in Northern Ireland?

I have met a wide range of groups representing victims in Northern Ireland. It is very important that we listen to their point of view in attempting to reach a consensus on how we best address the legacy of the past and establish the Stormont House institutions.