Troubles: How governments have struggled to resolve NI’s previous

Bertie Ahern, George Mitchell and Tony Blair

media captionThe roots of Northern Ireland’s Troubles lie deep in Irish history

The UK government has published its plan for dealing with the legacy of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

The conflict, spanning almost 30 years cost, the lives of more than 3,500 people.

Since the ceasefires in 1994, politicians have grappled with the issue of unsolved crimes and the search by some victims’ families for justice.

BBC News NI looks at the long list of attempts to address the past.

April 1998 – Good Friday Agreement

image copyrightPA Media
image captionThen Taoiseach Bertie Ahern (left) and then Prime Minister Tony Blair (right) – pictured with Senator George Mitchell – signed the Good Friday Agreement on behalf of the Irish and UK governments respectively

One of the most controversial aspects of the deal was the decision to free most paramilitary prisoners before they had served their full sentence.

It was a bold move designed to win the support of republicans and loyalists but it caused…