Nesbitt proposes solution to apology impasse

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Nesbitt proposes solution to apology impasse

Ulster Unionist MLA and long-time victims' advocate Mike Nesbitt is proposing a solution that will allow the formal apology to the victims and survivors of historical institutional abuse to go ahead as planned on 11th March.

The workaround is based on a precedent from a previous time the Executive was not sitting and a decision was required.


Mike Nesbitt said:


"When the Irish Rugby Football Union was bidding to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup, they needed certain assurances from the Executive regarding matches to be played in Northern Ireland. With no Executive Ministers to sign off the bid papers, the Head of the Civil Service asked the five leaders of the parties entitled to seats at the Executive to sign a letter confirming they supported the financial guarantees required for the bid to proceed.


"On the same basis, the current leaders could endorse the wording of an apology, which could then be delivered collectively by them, the remaining Executive Ministers and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. The Executive Office recently promised that apology on 11th March and it is vital to the mental health and wellbeing of the victims that that commitment is honoured.


"In their long and troubled lives, victims and survivors of institutional abuse have enjoyed only one day in the sun, the 20th of January 2017 when Sir Anthony Hart published his conclusions at the end of the Public Inquiry he chaired. Surely a second day is not too much for victims and survivors to ask for? If we could do it for a game of rugby, we owe it to the survivors whose lives were impacted so brutally through no fault of their own."