Ulster Human Rights Watch has called on the Irish Government to develop mechanisms for dealing with the past that mirror those already in place in Northern Ireland.

UHRW made the call following publication of the Government’s response to the Interim Report by the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee on dealing with the legacy of Northern Ireland’s past.

UHRW Advocacy Manager, Axel Schmidt, said: “We welcome the willingness of the Government to engage with civic society including with organisations such as Ulster Human Rights Watch which represents victims of terrorism.

“The Government notes that the Irish Government needs to maintain a collaborative approach, which has not always been the case in the past.

“What is also required is for the Irish Government to create and develop mechanisms for dealing with the past that mirror those already implemented in Northern Ireland. Right now, they are out of step and some considerable way off the pace.

“We view as positive the Government desire to address the needs of veterans alongside those of victims of terrorism.

“The Government believes it is right to focus on information recovery but this cannot be dissociated from the pursuit of justice for victims of terrorism.

“The Government says it wants to move on towards reconciliation but what is meant by reconciliation has yet to be defined.

“UHRW has already requested a meeting with the Secretary of State and looks forward to discussing arrangements for dealing with all aspects of legacy.”