The murder of Gavin McShane and Shane McArdle in Armagh City on 17 May, 1994, was a senseless tragedy. Following the 27th anniversary of their deaths last week, I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences and those of the Government to the McShane and McArdle families.
It is particularly frustrating for the McShane and McArdle families that, 27 years on, the full truth about what happened on that day, and who may have been responsible for the murders of Gavin and Shane, has still not been established. I know that they, like so many families, have continued to engage in tireless work to seek justice for their loved ones.
The framework agreed at Stormont House in 2014 provided for a set of institutions to deal comprehensively and fairly with the legacy of the Troubles, including mechanisms for independent investigations and truth recovery.
Unfortunately this has not yet been implemented. The Government remains ready to engage and work with the British Government and the parties to the Northern Ireland Executive in partnership on this very important issue in the period immediately ahead, with a view to reaffirming a collective approach that is consistent with the Stormont House Agreement framework.
Where the UK Government are proposing significant changes to that framework, we have made clear that these must be discussed and agreed by both Governments and the parties to the Northern Ireland Executive.
Only through a collective approach can we hope to deal with these issues comprehensively and fairly, and in a way that responds to the needs of victims and survivors, for families like the McShane and McArdle families who want to see truth and justice for Gavin and Shane, and for society as a whole.