A political row is brewing over apparent British government plans to consider giving a blanket amnesty to British soldiers, UDR men and policemen accused of offences as serious as murder during the Troubles.
Suggestions that this change to the so-called Stormont House Agreement is in the air came after a meeting today (Tuesday) between British prime minister Theresa May and outgoing Sinn Fein leader, Gerry Adams.
According to a BBC report, Mr Adams expressed ‘concern’ at the move:
“That is an act of bad faith, we weren’t told this, we understand the Irish government weren’t told this,” Mr Adams said.
“So how on earth can a British prime minister hope to persuade anybody that there’s a possibility of a new dispensation emerging when she takes up this position and her secretary of state takes up this position also?”
What if, instead, he had said something like this:
“Well if Mrs May wants to do something like that then we in Sinn Fein will support it if, and only if, everyone gets an amnesty. And we will press the Irish government to agree. Otherwise we will oppose it with every fibre in our bodies.”
With a full amnesty people could start to tell the truth about what really happened during the Troubles, who did what to whom and why, and who gave the orders.
Maybe he still will but a nagging thought in my head tells me that Mr Adams is one of those who would rather the truth stays behind closed lips?
And is Mrs May pushing this idea because she knows that full well?