Bitter memories of the Troubles threaten to wreck 300 million pounds Ulster healing plan

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Anger boiled over yesterday at the publication of a government-commissioned report into how to heal the wounds of Northern Ireland.

Lord Eames and Denis Bradley, two former churchmen invited 18 months ago to come up with a plan, had not even begun to speak before the ballroom of the Europa Hotel in Belfast — once reputed to be the world’s most-bombed hotel — was seething with the bad blood that sparked and sustained nearly 40 years of terrorism, causing more than 3,700 deaths.

The authors of the report, by the Consultative Group on the Past, always knew that the terrain in which they worked would be treacherous, but even the controversy over their off-the-record briefing last week — from which was leaked the proposed £12,000 flat fee to the families of everyone killed in the Troubles, whether terrorist, police officer, soldier or innocent bystander — could not have prepared them for the response from the invited audience of dignitaries and the bereaved.

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