The report of the Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee on the “on the runs” inquiry has further emphasised that the scheme was a backroom deal which has undermined the peace and political processes while letting victims down.
As a member of the committee I have attended the evidence sessions going back to last summer, where we heard from a variety of witnesses.
Today’s report is a further indictment of how a British Government and Sinn Féin colluded together to defeat due process, cause hurt and offence to victims and survivors.
The OTR episode is a disturbing insight into the lengths some in London would go to in order to pacify Sinn Féin- from the OTR Bill to the OTR schemes. It was a joint enterprise to derail justice, truth and the needs of victims and survivors.
The people of Ireland endorsed the Good Friday Agreement. By engaging in side deals, Sinn Féin and the British Government have betrayed Irish democracy.
One response to clear the smog and smell of secrecy around these deals is to restore transparency, accountability and the primacy of victims in all future processes.
All of this now begs the question- is there any other secret deal the London, with Sinn Féin or with anyone else, signed up to?