Are you OK with cookies?

We use small files called ‘cookies’ on icrir.independent-inquiry.uk. Some are essential to make the site work, some help us to understand how we can improve your experience, and some are set by third parties. You can choose to turn off the non-essential cookies. Which cookies are you happy for us to use?

Skip to content

Tell us how you want the Commission to operate

Take part in our consultations and give us your views
Find out more

Frequently asked questions

Find answers to some of your most common questions.

About the Commission

What will the Commission do?

The Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery will provide information to families, victims and survivors of Troubles-related deaths and serious injury and promote reconciliation. 
 
The Commission is expected to begin its operations in the summer of 2024. In advance of that, the Chief Commissioner Sir Declan Morgan has been leading work to identify the other Commissioners, who have now been appointed and is engaging across Northern Ireland and more broadly with all those who might use the ICRIR’s services. He and his team will be listening to the views and experiences of those from all backgrounds to inform work to put in place the detail needed for the ICRIR to work effectively.
 
Now that the Commission has been legally established, the Commissioners will begin hiring their own staff and agreeing their own policies. The Commission will also need to meet data handling and transparency requirements through its own policies on FOI and Data Protection.
 

Who are the Commissioners?

The Chief Commissioner is Sir Declan Morgan. The Commissioner for Investigations is Peter Sheridan. There are four additional non-executive Commissioners. You can find out more about our Commissioners on our Board page.

Is the Commission truly independent?

The Commission will operate independently of the Northern Ireland Executive, the UK Government and any other body. It will be based in locations that allow it to deliver its sensitive work securely, confidentially and in a way that is accessible to you. The Commission’s staff are being recruited openly from a wide range of backgrounds, with proper consideration of any potential conflicts of interest.
 
In addition to police powers, the Commission has wide-ranging statutory powers to require all public bodies, including the government and the security services to provide the Commission with all information it needs to carry out its work, and to require any person to come to the Commission to provide information.  Where necessary, fines can be issued, and the Commission can apply to the courts if information it needs is being withheld. It is an offence to conceal or destroy evidence the Commission has requested.

Where will the Commission be based?

A permanent HQ for the Commission will be situated in Belfast. But the Commission will need to engage with those who might make requests at locations that suit them across Northern Ireland.

How will the Commission be funded?

£250 million of dedicated funding has been allocated to implement the proposals in the Legacy Act. This will be drawn on annually to form a budget for the Commission based on what it needs over its lifetime. The Commission will publish an annual work plan and funding requirements as well as an Annual Report and Accounts to show how money has been spent.

About the Commission’s work

When will the Commission be operational?

It is expected that the Commission will be able to receive requests from the summer of 2024, with a phased set-up building to that date.
 
Before then, there is lots of work to do, including recruiting all the people the Commission will need, establishing offices and putting policies and processes in place for how the Commission will carry out its work. Chief Commissioner Sir Declan Morgan and Commissioner for Investigations Peter Sheridan are actively seeking public input to help plan how the Commission will carry out its work – get involved in regular surveys and focus groups via our engagement programme.

How will the Commission operate?

When individuals approach the Commission, they may do so for different reasons and with different hopes and expectations. The Commission will work with individuals to explore the range of options open to them and support them to make informed decisions about how they want to proceed. This will be based on a trauma-informed approach.
 
Our Chief Commissioner and Commissioner for Investigations are beginning to consider the policies and processes which will define how the Commission will carry out this work. Public input to this is being sought and you can comment on an initial considerations paper, which was developed before the Commission was established and should be considered as a guide to possible approaches only. This sets out the three core stages you might go through if you apply to the Commission – Engagement, Recovering Information and Findings & Future Steps – and how they might work. You can view this paper on our website and comment using our Contact Form.


When will I be able to engage with the ICRIR?

The first and most vital task of the Commissioners is to hear views and voices from across Northern Ireland so that the design of the ICRIR and how it will work can best serve people’s needs.

The ICRIR will not be able to begin receiving and considering requests for reviews until it is legally established and it has put in place the necessary policies and procedures.

From autumn 2023, detailed proposals and options about how the Commission will work and deliver its tasks are being shared publicly for public comments and views. Find out how to contact ICRIR to get involved.

Will the ICRIR be able to investigate historic cases?

Yes. ICRIR will carry out reviews into Troubles-related murders and serious injuries. The Commission will need to design its own practices and policies to determine what type of review will be appropriate or necessary in different circumstances, but this could include a full criminal investigation where judged appropriate.

The Commission will also have the power to refer cases to the prosecutors following an investigation.

Working for the Commission

How will the Commission recruit?

Over the next year, the Commission will be looking to recruit people to fill a number of corporate and operational roles. Applicants will be sought from all backgrounds, to ensure a diverse workforce that represents all communities and interests.
 
The Commission will recruit through a number of different platforms, depending on the specialist needs of the role. Roles are advertised on the Commission’s website or LinkedIn.
 
The Commission will also take secondments from other organisations, such as police forces, other investigative bodies, and the wider public sector.

Commissioner recruitment

The Commission’s independence, expertise, fairness and equality of approach will play a crucial role in helping ensure its decisions and reports command confidence, so it’s vital that Commissioners bring demonstrable specialist skills and experience into the Commission to help the organisation achieve its aims.
 
A wide search has been carried out to find candidates that can bring the right skills, impartiality and experience into the Commission to help it deliver its work. This was supported by a recruitment and executive search specialist agency. All the Commissioners have now been appointed and you can find out more about them on our Board page.