Where is the ‘fresh start’ for them?

18th November 2015

The WAVE Trauma Centre, the largest cross community victims and survivors support group in Northern Ireland, has said those it works with will feel ‘abandoned and betrayed’ by being excluded from the so called ‘Fresh Start‘  Agreement.

The CEO of WAVE Sandra Peake said:

“The two Governments and political parties have said that dealing with the suffering of victims and survivors is central to Northern Ireland moving forward.

They can no longer say that with any credibility.

The reality is that they have abandoned and betrayed victims and survivors who have repeatedly been promised that there would be an inclusive and comprehensive way found to deal with the legacy of the past.

Victims and survivors were told to wait for Eames/Bradley but they got nothing.

They were told to wait for Haass/O’Sullivan and got nothing.

They were told to wait for Stormont House and got nothing.

Now they have been given a document that with absolutely no hint of irony is being called a ‘Fresh Start’  and there is nothing beyond a vague reference to continuing to ‘reflect’.

Where is the ‘fresh start’ for them?

Where is the fresh start for those who were left in limbo when the Historical Enquiries Team was wound up without even the courtesy of a few hours notice?

Where is the fresh start for those who want their stories, their testimony of suffering recorded and acknowledged?

Where is the fresh start for the bilateral amputees, the blind, the paraplegic and the severely traumatised who have to rely on a Private Members Bill passing before the Assembly winds up to give them a modest pension to supplement the benefits that they are forced to live on because of their injuries? 

But perhaps the saddest, most depressing aspect of all this is that while they are shocked, disgusted and beyond disappointment they are not surprised”.