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Another setback for truth and reconciliation in Northern Ireland

The government wants to draw a line under the Troubles but victims cannot

By Conall Mallory & Sean Molloy  

A mural dedicated to the victims of the Ballymurphy massacre. The government's response to the inquest has been hopelessly inadequate. Paul McErlane / Alamy Stock Photo

Earlier this month, the government leaked a plan to introduce a statutory bar on prosecutions for crimes committed before the Good Friday Agreement (GFA). Applicable to both military veterans and paramilitaries alike, this scheme would effectively herald the end of any prosecution for offences committed during the period colloquially known as the Troubles (though an exemption may be granted for gross human rights violations, torture and war crimes). The plans drew a rare, unified response of outrage from Northern Ireland’s political establishment, and yet neither the policy nor the manner of its communication to the public was unique. To…

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