We previously indicated that an Interim Advocate would be appointed to aid victims and survivors during the hiatus in implementing the recommendations of The Historic Institutional Abuse Inquiry.
One of the recommendations of the Inquiry was the creation of a commissioner with an independent office to act as a voice for victims and survivors. The delay of over two years and the on going lack of progress with no imminent end in sight has lead to an interim appointment to this role.
Brendan McAllister has a long history of working with victims and was one of four commissioners previously appointed to advise the Northern Ireland Executive on how they could help the victims and survivors of Troubles related issues. That role was one he filled between 2008 and 2012. His CV includes working as a social worker and he is an advocate of mediation as a means of dispute resolution.
Mr McAllister met with Victim and Survivor groups in Belfast on Tuesday. He has said that he intends to “ensure legislation is passed as quickly as possible”. He considers the law needs to reflect what survivors believe their needs are and that includes urgent consideration of care arrangements.
It is likely that there will be requests from survivors and victims for changes to the recommendations regarding the level of payments under any redress scheme and the way in which those payments are to be applied.
We can anticipate an increase in the profile of the Survivors campaign with the assistance of an Advocate although details of the budget provided to Mr McAllister and the support staff he will need have not yet been made clear.
Written by Ciara McReynolds at BLM