Historical crimes in Northern Ireland


Sir, – Your editorial in Saturday’s edition (“The Irish Times view on historical crimes in Northern Ireland: a distressing and irresponsible move”, May 8th) says that “the interests of victims, many of whom have waited for decades to learn the truth about how their loved ones died, should be at the centre of any plan to deal with the legacy of the past” in Northern Ireland.

I agree. In the UK government’s view the current system is failing to bring satisfactory outcomes for victims’ families, as recent events have again shown, while placing a heavy burden on the criminal justice system and leaving society in Northern Ireland hamstrung by its past.

Our objective is to find a way forward that promotes reconciliation and focuses on information recovery, finding answers for families who have indeed waited too long to learn the truth. These are of course objectives of the Stormont House Agreement.

This is a sensitive and complex issue, which needs to be taken forward in a discreet, inclusive and respectful way. We are still engaged in developing and discussing our thinking. We are committed to working with the Irish Government, the Northern Ireland parties and civil society to find a way forward on this important and delicate question. – Yours, etc,


British Ambassador

to Ireland,


Dublin 4.