139. Deputy Declan Breathnach asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the progress on the independent commission on information retrieval Bill; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6191/19]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): My Department, with close cooperation from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, is finalising a General Scheme for a Bill to establish the Independent Commission on Information Retrieval (ICIR). The ICIR will be a cross-border institution which will be established to receive information on troubles-related deaths and to prepare a report on the circumstances of the death for the families of the victims. The ICIR will require legislation to be enacted both in Ireland and the United Kingdom.
The Deputy will be aware that the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland held a public consultation between May and October last year on the draft UK legislation to establish the legacy bodies provided for in the Stormont House Agreement. I understand that over 17,000 responses to the consultation were received and these are currently being considered by the British government. There may be issues raised in the course of the consultation which the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and the British Government will wish to reflect on further.
Dealing with the legacy of the troubles on this island is a difficult and complex task. The Government remains fully committed to giving effect to the measures agreed in the Stormont House Agreement. While the political impasse in Northern Ireland has delayed the roll-out of these measures, the Government will continue to work with the British Government and the parties in Northern Ireland to seek the re-establishment of the Executive.