SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MLA has welcomed the decision by the Lord Chief Justice to move forward with inquests into legacy cases following a review over the past number of weeks.
The Foyle MLA has also called on Prime Minister David Cameron to end the British Government’s resistance to disclosure and to release funding for dealing with the past.
Sir Declan Morgan said on Friday that the judiciary was going to set up a Legacy Investigation Unit to help process 55 inquests.
He said he hoped to start the Troubles-related inquests in September and estimated it would take five years to complete.
Responding to Sir Declan’s statement, Mr Eastwood said: “I welcome the firm and decisive comments from the Lord Chief Justice setting out how he intends to progress legacy inquests.
“He has grasped the nettle here in a way that others continue to avoid.
“One of the biggest impediments to progress remains the resistance of the British Government to the disclosure of information and the release of funding for legacy investigations.
“They have common ground with paramilitary groups in this regard, both have a common interest in suppressing the truth about their involvement in 40 years of conflict.
“Victims and Survivors deserve better. Their needs will always come first for us, not the institutional needs of any government or any group.
“These are issues that David Cameron must address.
“It is the Secretary of State who refuses to release the funds available under the Stormont House proposals and it is the Ministry of Defence/British Army that continues to resist disclosure.
“I will be writing to the Prime Minister to put these issues where they should be – on his desk for his decision.
“It is David Cameron who must dislodge the resistance on disclosure and on funding.
“That’s what the SDLP are challenging him to address immediately and decisively,” added the Foyle MLA.