Northern Ireland’s First Minister has dismissed calls for a Truth Commission – as he doubts former paramilitaries would tell the truth.
DUP leader Peter Robinson told a function in Newry that there is ‘no point’ in establishing a commission to address Ulster’s troubled past.
Speaking ahead of a meeting with Northern Secretary Owen Paterson on how to deal with the past, Robinson said the issue was difficult but could not be ignored.
“What would be the purpose of having a truth commission when we know without a doubt that the terrorists will not be coming forward to tell the truth?” asked Robinson.
“All you would get, once again, would be the police and army in the dock and history being distorted.
“The DUP will not allow any talks to become a rewriting of history.
“For any talks to succeed there must be an acceptance that part of the problem in dealing with the past in Northern Ireland is the refusal by some to accept the part they played in creating these problems.
“Any process dealing with the past must not include an amnesty or proposal which could allow some individuals to escape justice for their actions.”
Robinson has also called on Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny and British leader David Cameron to meet representatives of families of the 10 Protestant workmen murdered by the IRA in south Armagh in 1976, an incident that became known as the Kingsmill Massacre.
“Those families are still crying out for justice,” he claimed.
The First Minister also addressed the issue of sectarianism. The Irish Times reports that he said: “A divided Northern Ireland cannot succeed economically, politically or culturally.
“While difference is to be mutually respected, room needs to be made for all cultural traditions to be celebrated. Now is the time to seize a new future.”