30 Mar 2012

A single victims’ commissioner will replace the roles carried out by the three current holders of the position, the Executive has revealed.

It is now looking for a candidate to take on the advocacy job for people injured or bereaved during the Troubles, as the new Victims’ Service gets up and running.

The decision to reduce the number of commissioners is understood to have been prompted by the accomplishments of the previously appointed three.

Bertha McDougall, Patricia MacBride and Brendan McAllister – who leave the £65,000 posts in May – are believed to have accomplished so much in establishing initial contact with victims that their workload can now be undertaken by one individual.

However it is also understood that Government ministers are open to hiring two commissioners if they get two outstanding applicants.

There had previously been four on the panel before Mike Nesbitt left to enter into politics with the Ulster Unionists – he was elected as an MLA for Strangford.

Outgoing commissioners McDougall, an RUC widow; MacBride, whose IRA brother was killed by the SAS; and McAllister, formerly of Mediation NI, can all apply for the new position.

It is currently being advertised in Northern Ireland newspapers.