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Church of Ireland General Synod: Eames report

16 May 2014

A REPORT aimed at redressing the past in Northern Ireland must be revisited, to deal with the legacy of the past, and enable reconciliation, the two Archbishops of the Church of Ireland said during an interview at the General Synod.

The Archbishop of Armagh, Dr Richard Clarke, said that it was inevitable that the 2009 Eames-Bradley report, which sought to heal past wounds and divisions in the Province, needed to be looked at again.

Dr Clarke said he felt that "the equilibrium that is being built into the political machinery . . . has actually meant that we are never going to get equanimity, because you are never going to get a common mind as long as you structure something that has got to have an equilibrium."

The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Michael Jackson, who served in a cross-border diocese for several years before his translation to Dublin, said that there had been a perception that offering victims money was seen by some as putting a price on the suffering of the victims: "I doubt that was the intention, but that was how it was received".

In a separate statement, one of the report's authors, the former Archbishop of Armagh Lord Eames, said that both governments had now to engage directly with peace efforts. "Today there is no sign of the political will necessary," he said. "A lot of people are getting impatient that they will ever find a solution. But you will never get it unless there is a political will to grasp the nettle."

He said that no solution existed that would please everybody. Dublin, London, and Belfast "need to go into a new process of heart-searching", he said.

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