Northern Ireland

James Nesbitt: Don't forget victims of Troubles

James Nesbitt Image copyright PA
Image caption James Nesbitt said more needs to be done to help the victims of the Troubles.

The actor, James Nesbitt, has said a political deal reached between Northern Ireland politicians last year let down the victims of the Troubles.

He said that the legacy of the past was not properly addressed in November's Fresh Start agreement.

He received an OBE in the New Year Honours list for services to drama and the community in Northern Ireland.

Nesbitt is a patron of Wave Trauma Centre.

It supports people bereaved, injured or traumatised during the conflict in Northern Ireland.

In an interview for BBC Radio Ulster's Sunday News programme, the actor said he hoped his award would bring more awareness to the work of Wave.

Nesbitt said he shared the view that families were let down by last year's political deal.

"You cannot move on without fully addressing what is clearly the ongoing and indelible legacy of the past and really looking after the people who have suffered and are still suffering," he said.

"These are real people who continue to be impacted, and [the trauma] is passing on to their family members."

Image caption Nesbitt made an OBE in the New Year Honours list for services to drama and the community in Northern Ireland.

"Because of the lucky nature of my success, I've had the opportunity to do quite a lot in Northern Ireland, which is a duty, but also a real privilege.

"So if this brings more awareness to the ongoing work WAVE is doing, then I'm thrilled."

In 2015, WAVE received almost 700 new victim referrals, aged from seven to 83 years old.

"That's people presenting for the very first time," said Nesbitt. "With the children as young as seven, we're seeing a lot of trans-generational trauma being passed on."

Alongside Liam Neeson, Nesbitt has in the past backed appeals by families of the 16 Disappeared for information that could lead to the recovery of the four victims still not found.

Image caption Alongside Liam Neeson, Nesbitt has in the past backed appeals by families of the 16 Disappeared for information that could lead to their recovery

On The Sunday News, he reiterated that appeal, saying: "Someone out there will have information.

"A few years ago, they thought they wouldn't get any of them. But we've had so much success with the appeals we've made, and the relief it brings to the families is so acute.

"WAVE needs funding and we need to do more work on that."

You can hear James Nesbitt's full interview with The Sunday News at 13:00 GMT on Sunday, 10 January.

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