Northern Ireland

Belfast legacy rally attended by thousands

Time for Truth walk in Belfast city centre Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Campaigners say they want politicians to move forward on dealing with legacy killings

Thousands of people have attended a rally in Belfast organised by the relatives of those killed during the Troubles.

It took place on Sunday afternoon outside City Hall.

Those behind the Time for Truth Walk called on politicians to move forward on dealing with legacy killings.

The organisers of the event say they want three key issues addressed, including the "full implementation of the Stormont House Agreement".

The agreement was made in December 2014 following cross-party Northern Ireland talks.

It tackled a variety of contentious issues including flags, parades and the past.

However, the recommendations on legacy investigations have not been implemented following the collapse of the Northern Ireland executive in January 2017.

'Continued intransigence'

Event spokesperson Ciarán MacAirt said the group hopes to see "all the mechanisms of dealing with the past" introduced as outlined in the agreement.

"We want the proper funding of the coronial inquest system, as laid out by the lord chief justice in his five-year plan," he said.

Image caption Ciarán MacAirt is a spokesperson for Time for Truth

"And we want the office of the police ombudsman properly resourced and funded to deal with the backlog of legacy cases.

"Our families have marched her against continued intransigence of the British government.

"The objectives that we have are non-denominational, so hopefully the rights that my family can avail of are the rights that every family can avail of."

Mr MacAirt added that "older campaigners who have been doing this for over 40 years do not want to pass this on to the younger generation".

"We want this to end now," he said.

A number of politicians also attended the event, including the SDLP's Nichola Mallon and Sinn Féin's Michelle O'Neill.

Mrs O'Neill said it was "wrong and unacceptable that families have to take to the streets once again to get access to the truth five years after the two governments agreed legacy mechanisms at Stormont House".

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