SF and SDLP: British government must provide funding to deal with the past

“If we fail to deal with the past the past will deal with us,” warns SDLP leader

Sinn Fein and the SDLP have called on the British government to provide the necessary funding to deal with the past.

Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly and SDLP leader Dr Alasdair McDonnell separately issued their demand following talks in Stormont aimed at breaking the logjam that is threatening the future of the Northern Executive and Assembly. The talks involve the North's five main parties and the British and Irish governments.

“If we fail to deal comprehensively with the past, the past will deal with us,” said Dr McDonnell .

Last year, US diplomat Dr Richard Haass published proposals on how to address parades, flags and the past, but they were rejected by the Ulster Unionists and the DUP.


Dr McDonnell said that any “roll-back from the final Haass document would not be acceptable”. “It is essential that the needs of victims remain at the heart of how we deal with the past,” he said.

Sinn Fein negotiator Mr Kelly said a “proactive and positive approach” on the past was required from the British government and this also included funding to deal with legacy issues.

Gerry Moriarty

Gerry Moriarty

Gerry Moriarty is the former Northern editor of The Irish Times